Section 102 of the Clean Neighbourhoods Act creates a new form of legal nuisance namely "artificial light emitted from premises so as to be prejudicial to health or a nuisance".
However, this does not include light emitted from the following:
Premises used for transport purposes or where high levels of light are required for safety and security reasons, i.e.:
- Railway premises
- Tramway premises
- Bus stations and associated facilities
- Premises occupied for defence purposes
There is also a defence for all trade, industrial, business or outdoor sports facilities that the “best practicable means” to prevent light pollution is being taken.
There is little in the way of formal guidance as to what constitutes legally actionable light pollution. We investigate light nuisance in much the same way as we investigate noise nuisance. 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:
- The duration of the nuisance.
- The frequency of the nuisance.
- The seriousness of the nuisance.
- The motives behind the action causing the nuisance.
- The sensitivity of the complainant