Artificial light

Artificial light has the potential to become ‘light pollution’ or ‘obtrusive light’.

For light to be considered a ‘statutory nuisance’, it would have to affect a person’s health or use of their home - see Environmental Protection Act 1990 (external link).

What type of light do we investigate?

Type of light
What we CAN investigateWhat we CANNOT investigate
Fixed lights i.e. flood lights Christmas lights
Security lights Street lights
  Artificial light from railway and tram premises, public service vehicle operating centres, goods vehicle operating centres

What can I do?

Before you contact us, we would advise you to discuss the problem early on with the person(s) or business responsible. Often, they simply do not realise they are causing a problem or disturbance and the issue may be resolved quickly once they know.

However, if the problem continues you can report it to us.

How do I report artificial light nuisance?

Please be aware that we cannot investigate anonymous complaints as the law requires us to assess the impact that noise is having on the person who has complained.

Before you can report an artificial light nuisance, you MUST complete a witness observation record for a period of at least 2 weeks.

We CANNOT progress the complaint without a witness observation record.

When you have submitted a witness observation record you can report the issue to us:

What happens next?

All complaints (that include completed witness observation records) are assessed depending on:

  • Whether it interferes with the use of a property
  • Whether it may impact on your wellbeing
  • How it’s likely to affect the average person (unusual sensitivities are not included)
  • How often it happens
  • How long it lasts
  • When it happens.

To prove statutory nuisance, we have to be satisfied that the issues raised could be considered to unreasonably interfere with the use or enjoyment of another property. The problem must occur regularly and continue for a period of time that makes it unreasonable.

You will be contacted within 10 working days of receiving your completed witness observation records to advise you what action, if any, can be taken.

Taking action through the courts

If we are unable to establish that a nuisance exists, you can take legal action against the neighbour/business.

© Wigan Council