Report an artificial light nuisance

A certain amount of bright intrusive light disturbance is normal at times.

In certain circumstances, bright intrusive light emanating from another premises and shining into your premises may be considered a Statutory Nuisance. Certain commercial premises are however exempted from the Statutory Nuisance light provisions, including the following:  

  • airports, harbours, railway, tramway, bus and/or coach station
  • goods vehicle operating centres
  • lighthouses, prisons, or military installations

However, bright light emanating from all other types of premises may be judged a Statutory Nuisance if the intrusion is sufficiently serious. The council may be able to act on this issue if light emanating from another premises is regularly and persistently shining brightly into your premises. An example of this would be if sleep is impossible even with thick curtains tightly drawn.

The laws around Statutory Nuisance are complex. In general, if any disturbance from bright light is regular, excessive, and intrusive, especially at unsocial times of the day/night (and is not permitted through a licence, exemption, or consent), we may ultimately be able to intervene.

In the most serious situations we can serve a formal notice, seize equipment, or prosecute. However, this investigative process may take weeks or months to complete.

In all cases we will expect you to have tried to resolve the issue yourselves by speaking or writing to the person/business. We will also always expect you to complete diary sheets and a statement before we consider the case, to ensure that we have a good understanding of the problem. The case will then be assigned to an Environmental Health Officer to investigate and to judge whether further and formal action is appropriate. We will ultimately need to make visits to your property on a number of occasions to see the problem for ourselves.

Diary sheets and an information pack are available to download below. Please follow the instructions in the pack and complete the diary sheets for a period of three weeks before submitting your complaint. 

If you have already tried to resolve this issue with the person/business and you have completed diary sheets detailing the problem for a period of 3 weeks, please complete the following online form and ensure you upload your completed documents: 

Report an artificial light nuisance online

If you have provided a completed diary sheet pack, and confirmed that you have attempted to resolve the issue with your neighbour directly; we will be in touch within 5 working days.  

If you do not upload the required documents, you will be automatically reminded by email after 3 weeks to do so, and your case will be automatically closed after 6 weeks if we do not hear from you with completed documents.

Last updated: 07 September 2017. Was this information helpful?

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