Light nuisance

Service information

What do you want to do?

The Council has a legal duty to investigate complaints about light nuisance.

If the Council receives a complaint about light nuisance it will investigate to determine if a nuisance does exist. We will try to find an informal solution to the problem but legal powers are available to tackle light nuisance.

The majority of actionable light nuisance investigations relate to domestic security lighting.

Advice and recommended installation methods to minimise light nuisance from security lighting can be found on the Institute of Lighting Professionals website on the link provided.

There are number of sources from which light can not be classed as a nuisance. These include anywhere used for transport purposes or where high levels of light are required for safety, such as:

  • Airports;
  • Public Service Vehicle Operating Centres;
  • Harbours;
  • Goods Vehicles Operating Centres;
  • Railway Premises;
  • Lighthouses;
  • Tramway Premises;
  • Prisons;
  • Bus Stations and associated facilities;
  • Premises Occupied for defence purposes.

It is also unlikely that municipal street lighting would constitute a light nuisance in law.

There is also a defence for all trade, industrial, business or outdoor sports facilities that the "best practicable means" to prevent light nuisance is being taken.

Reporting light nuisance problems

If you feel that you are disturbed by light nuisance then you need to report it using the online form.

There is little in the way of formal guidance as to what constitutes a legally actionable light nuisance. However, we investigate light nuisance in much the same way as we investigate other kinds of nuisance e.g. noise.

This is intended to establish whether the problem is sufficiently severe as to warrant legal action by the Council. We make this judgement against the following criteria:

  1. The duration of the nuisance (how long does it last for when it happens, seconds, minutes or hours?)
  2. The frequency of the nuisance (how often does it happen, daily, weekly or infrequently?)
  3. The seriousness of the nuisance (does it materially affect someone's use of their house? The usual critical factor is whether it disturbs sleep).
  4. The motives behind the action causing the nuisance (is it malicious or does the problem arise from ordinary behaviour?).
  5. The sensitivity of the complainant (is the person who is complaining 'ordinary' or overly sensitive to the light?)

Advice on Security Light Installation

The majority of actionable light nuisance investigations relate to domestic security lighting.

Advice and recommended installation methods to minimise light nuisance from security lighting can be found on the Institute of Lighting Professionals website.

Contact details

Mail Public Protection Service, White Dove Offices, Davyfiled Road, Blackburn. BB1 2LX
Phone Number(s) Environmental Protection 01254 267699
Fax Number(s) 01254 267672
E-mail publicprotection@blackburn.gov.uk
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