Light Pollution - Is it a statutory nuisance?

Assessment of potential nuisance

The Council can now assess whether lighting is a Statutory Nuisance under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

This act extends the Statutory Nuisance provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to cover artificial light emitted from premises (excluding transport facilities, freight depots, lighthouses, defence premises and prisons). If your complaint is about street lights please report it to street lighting.

A nuisance can be described as an adverse state of affairs that interferes with an individual's use and enjoyment of his or her property.

To constitute a Statutory Nuisance light must be more than simply an annoyance, an example of a light which may be considered a Statutory Nuisance is where a light is spilling on to a property causing a neighbours rooms to be lit up at night.

You can report a light nuisance at Pollution - MyCouncil ( or by telephoning 01908 252398 between 9am - 5.15pm Monday to Friday.

Sources of light nuisance

Common sources of complaints are;

  • Domestic and industrial security lamps
  • Advertising and display lighting
  • Floodlights for sporting events and building illumination

Informal settlement

Wherever possible, problems with regard to light pollution should be settled informally between neighbours. Please consider approaching your neighbour as it is likely that they don't realise the affect the light is having. 

Avoiding causing a light nuisance

Householders and businesses can avoid causing light pollution by making sure that they:

  • Do not fit unnecessary lights.
  • Do not use excessively bright lights, as well as causing unnecessary light pollution, these cab create dark shadows that can conceal rather illuminate intruders. 
  • Do not leave lights on when they are not needed.
  • Consider controlling lights with passive infra-red detectors, ensuring that they are correctly aligned and installed so they don't trigger unnecessarily. 
  • Re-angle or partially shade lights, so that the light only falls on the area that needs to be illuminated

Further advice can be found at the Institute of Lighting Professionals website


Environmental Health contact information

Postal address:, Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ