Light Pollution

What is the law relating to light pollution?

Section 102 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 amends section 79 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to include nuisance from artificial light.  However certain premises are exempt from the legislation.  These are premises used primarily for transportation and premises where high levels of light are required for safety and security reasons and include:

  • Airports
  • Railway premises
  • Bus Stations and associated facilities
  • Lighthouses
  • Prisons
  • Defence facilities

The law also recognises the need for commercial security lights and floodlighting of  ‘relevant' sports facilities (but not those on domestic properties) and whilst the Public Protection Department can investigate complaints against nuisance from these types of lighting, the operators of these facilities have a defence in the law of ‘best practicable means'.  However, they are still expected to use artificial lighting responsibly and with consideration to local circumstances. 

ID: 2410, revised 18/09/2017