Report a light nuisance

What is a light nuisance?

Light nuisance is a source of artificial light which interferes with a person's use of their property or is prejudicial to their health.

We can investigate complaints about artificial light that could be a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Action you can take

You should first try to resolve the problem early on by talking to whoever is responsible for the light nuisance as they may not be aware that the light is causing a problem. 

You could ask them to:

  • move or partially shade the light
  • fit an infra-red sensor
  • use a lower wattage bulb - they are much cheaper and far more efficient

If you’re worried about approaching them, write a letter, explaining the problem clearly and sticking to the facts. You can use this letter template to send to the person or organisation responsible for the light.

You may be able to resolve the issue without having to make a formal complaint. 

What you need to know

We only investigate light nuisance complaints from people living in Gloucester City. 

Artificial light we can investigate

We can investigate poorly designed, directed, or maintained artificial lighting at both domestic and commercial properties such as: 

  • security lights 
  • sports facilities (like floodlit football pitches)
  • decorative lighting of buildings or landscapes
  • laser shows and light art

The light nuisance must be substantial for example, preventing sleep. We won't take action if normal levels of artificial light shines onto your property.

Artificial light we can't investigate

We can't investigate lighting at the following commercial properties as statutory nuisance laws don’t apply to artificial light from:

  • airports
  • harbours
  • railway premises
  • tramway premises
  • bus stations
  • public transport operating centres
  • goods vehicle operating centres
  • lighthouses
  • prisons
  • defence premises like army bases
  • premises occupied by visiting armed forces
  • street lights

How to make a report

You’ll need to a complete log sheet for a 14-day period. You can start the log on any day.

You will need to:

  • download the log sheet (DOCX, 50.8 KB)
  • add a new entry to the log every time you are disturbed by a light nuisance over the next 14 days
  • send the completed form to us via email or post, Gloucester City Council, Community Wellbeing Team, PO Box 2017, Pershore, WR10 9BJ

If you are unable to download and print the log sheets, please contact us on 01452 396 396.

What happens next?

An officer will assess your log sheets and contact you to advise on the next steps.

When looking into your complaint, we will look at one or more of the following:

  • whether it interferes with the use of a property
  • whether it may affect health
  • how it’s likely to affect the average person (unusual sensitivities aren’t included)
  • how often it happens
  • how long it lasts
  • when it happens

If we agree that a statutory nuisance is happening, has happened or will happen in the future, we may serve an abatement notice. This requires whoever’s responsible to stop or restrict the light. The notice will usually be served on the person responsible but can also be served on the owner or occupier of the premises.

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