Light Pollution?

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diddlydo | 23:19 Tue 19th Feb 2019 | Law
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My opposite neighbour in his new-build house has very obtrusive outside lights (this is in a Conservation Area in a village where the street lights go off at midnight). When I first spoke to him re these he said they were necessary because he had expensive machinery still on site and then to protect his cars (2 Porsches!) as the site wasn't yet secured. He told me that when this had been resolved they would go off at night. They haven't! He now has hedging, gates and CCTV but still the lights are on all night (and 24/7 when he goes away for 3 weeks in the summer holidays!) I emailed him pointing out that they rendered our 2 front bedrooms as moonlit every night etc etc. I received no reply. I know there are some rules about light pollution. Is it worth contacting Environmental Services?


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Sounds like he might have deep pockets and be able to afford a fight about his ‘security’ - can’t you get some blackout blinds and save some hassle?
This may help you:
Light pollution as a Statutory Nuisance: A 'how to' guide.
My local Chinese had to remove bulbs from his advertising sign after complaints from neighbours opposite to local council environmental team. You could try this route?
His lights should be pointing down - thus illuminating the ground and showing anybody moving about, rather that pointing out, creating shadows where somebody could be moving about unseen.
Dont see why should put up with this, you have asked him nicely but he obviously is not going to rake any notice.
Sounds like because he has money he thinks he just move in and take over and sod everyone else.

I'd defo have a word with Environmental.
It is important that there is clarity as to whether you have a complaint or not. Right at the outset, whether your neighbour has money or not does not and should never come into the discussion - envy is no grounds for anything worth spending a moment's time on.

An objection on environmental grounds (wasted energy) would, I imagine, not get far - you are entitled to leave your lights on and so is he.

If you feel there is some sort of nuisance resulting from his lighting then you can try to argue that with whichever authority might be willing to listen and see if you will prompt an order of some sort being issued.

You need to be clear about your motives for complaint and establish whether they are grounds for asking the authorities to step in (if that would then be your aim). If none of the different authorities decide to act in your favour then you must accept that in reality your complaint is unsupportable and effectively unreasonable. You have politely asked your neighbour to meet your demands and, so far as I can read from your post, he has politely responded that he will not. You have a right to live your way and so has he, both subject to any rules and regulations.
I agree - you've tried 'polite', now go for 'official' - all whilst being as nice as possible to your neighbour whenevber you see him.

If (when?) all else fails then you could do as I did in a similar situation with intrusive lights. Once all polite options had been tried (and my neighbour called me something very impolite) - I bought a socking great searchlight torch and trained it directly on his bedroom window(s) - I actually set it to be triggered by his security lights - it took him less than a couple of days to adopt a more sensible light spillage pattern.
Karl your 2nd paragraph talks about wasted energy, that's not the case here, it's light pollution which environmental health department will take up, if it can be demonstrated as a nuisance. I wouldn't like light shining through my window that makes sleep difficult.
I'd have hoped, "they rendered our 2 front bedrooms as moonlit every night", would cover it. One ought not be expected to negate the unsociable actions of another to get back to normal. I guess it makes a difference how powerful the light is. If less than a correctly angled street lamp would make, maybe that'd have little weight.
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Thank you all for your input - nice to know that I'm not being unreasonable in wanting to enjoy darkness in my bedrooms! Sadly we're "blessed" with a neighbour whose skin is even thicker than a rhino's hide.
TonyV, I agree that if an agency/authority, any authority/agency, takes up the complaint for pursuance against the neighbour then that presumably confirms that a valid complaint has been brought. Artificial light which varies/flashes/whatever can be extremely disruptive whereas constant light is far less so and probably for most people hardly at all unless of the spotlight type. There is no evidence that I know of which shows that sleeping in partly lit conditions is detrimental and some people prefer it. Millions of people have no choice but to sleep in low light (street lights) and others in full daylight (summertime in high latitudes north and south) and there is no suggestion that there is serious suffering as a result (that I am aware of).

I know of a person who has spent something like 40 years trying to get the local authority (separate approaches to many different departments over the years, usually on the principle that the right hand doesn't know what the left hand has already done/decided), local politicians, etc., etc. to get a neighbour's trees cut down, so far unsuccessfully. The main reason appears to be that she objected/objects to the new ownerhip per se. I recall living in India where they celebrate weddings for a week with the street taken over by one or more marquees and loud music blaring pretty much non-stop. I got far less sleep than normal for a few nights but sort of marvelled at the tolerance shown by people over a large radius around (I was two houses away). Maybe the lack of tolerance is the main problem with many neighbourly disputes in the UK ?
Karl I have lots of tolerance for my neighbours, the 2 South African ridge backs bark at anything moving in our shared alley, I look on it as non paid for burglar detection. Their cctv overlooks part of our garden, but thats protection for several £1000's worth of koy carp. Each to their own and try and live amicably is my belief.
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I'm all for living amicably. My email to the neighbour ended with "I don't want this to become a bone of contention so would appreciate a mutually agreeable solution/resolution". I didn't even get a reply. Enough said.
Oh Diddly just go down the environmental route with council then and see if they can get it resolved.
Just to add the neighbours South African Ridgebacks make lots of noise, but as soft as ***.

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