News: Light pollution law enacted - but is it enough?

Light pollution became a Statutory Nuisance this month, allowing affected neighbours including night sky users such as amateur and professional astronomers to take action against unreasonable polluters.

Bright security lighting is a common source of light pollution. To ensure you don’t cause a nuisance fit security lams with lower energy bulbs and angle them downwards so that they do not shine on any part of your neighbour’s property, even if it is some distance away.

Countryside campaigners are giving the new law a warm welcome, but say the time has now come to snuff out the problem at its source.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England believes the long-term solution to light pollution is through strong planning policies.

Tom Oliver, CPRE's head of rural policy said, "Thanks to the new law, some people will at last be able to take action if their lives are being blighted by selfish, wasteful use of light. But the only logical long-term solution is to design light pollution out of our lives."

"If planning policy is as clear as day that new development should not add to light pollution, we will stop obliterating star-filled skies at night with sky glow. That will be welcome to lovers of stars and the ancient darkness of the countryside," commented Mr Oliver.

CPRE initiated a major campaign Night Blight! in 2003 in conjunction with the British Astronomical Association and the Campaign for Dark Skies. One major objective was to secure light pollution as a Statutory Nuisance, but it is still campaigning for stronger planning controls.

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