Stockport Lights up the Sky

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Geoff
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Stockport Lights up the Sky

Post by Geoff »

This will get you going Cliff! and the rest of us.

"The shopping Centre is hoping to brighten-up the sky above Stockport Town Centre as part of its 40th birthday celebration
When the 7,000 watt light is switched on, organisers said the beam would be clearly visible right across the Borough
The beam will now become a permanent fixture in the Stockport night sky, he said and visible between dusk and midnight" (Stockport Times East -13/10/05)

Will this break the recently introduced light pollution/nuisance Bill?

Perhaps SPA could take it up?

Geoff
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spodzone
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Post by spodzone »

Erk. It was bad enough up here in Perth when they decided to put on a light display to celebrate opening the new concert hall - folks for 30mi around could see these stupid half-dozen beams of light wiggling aimlessly around the sky, cheesing me off as a driver and any time I poked my nose out to hunt aurorae (since there was a chance at the time).

Definitely time to kick butt(TM).
~Tim
ando
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Post by ando »

Geoff its not as if we dont have it bad enough as it is !!!

I live near the trafford centre and the golf range with flood light after flood light really doesnt help my viewing !!!!

I
Thanks

Andy
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Geoff
I would think the nice bright Stockport light will only be considered a nuisance if people actually complain about it. I suspect not many people will actually make official complaints so I yhink it likely the project will be hailed a very big success.
Best wishes from the Grumpy old Codger Cliff
Geoff
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Post by Geoff »

Dear Cliff and Ando,

Thanks for your reply.

I have written to my M.P. and also my local Stockport Councillor. Replies from both, and the Local Councillor is looking into the planning permission aspect as it would appear that the light is on the building of a private firm not a local authority building. Other members of my Astro club have written to local councillors and the Beep.
Also the CFDS have been informed.
I know the name of the firm that has installed the light, but not sure about mentioning it's name on the web. Will write to them if all else fails, and also to Stockport Times East who printed an article about it..


Geoff
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screwdriver
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Post by screwdriver »

Hi Geoff,Why not say who it is.You have a right to name and shame.Find out where the chairman of the company lives and go set up camp outside his house for a week.One BIG jenny with as many arc lights as you can find.If he moans which he is bound to do just say you do the same outside my house.I do think Most people in the government would be right on our side if this happened to them.I dont say break the law just hassle him a bit.Im very lucky i dont suffer to bad where i live,the people are sound round here and if someone sets up a arc light which affects me i just go round and explain my problem and come to some understanding.
Take care
Robin Scagell
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Post by Robin Scagell »

Geoff, you are doing absolutely the right thing by making your views known. Local action is the ideal thing -- after all, you are the people affected.

Although it is hard for the SPA as a body to get involved, I'm sure that individuals will be only too happy to lend their names to your cause should it be required. This case sounds dreadful. Sadly, there are similar projects all over the place. Every damned development seems to want to light up the sky as a cheap method of making its presence felt, and often they get away with it. One could literally spend all one's time harrying local councils, but what really counts is a howl of protest from the people directly affected.

I recall that a few years ago Tesco took over the Hoover Building on the A40 and illuminated it with bright green floodlights. It created a fearful green glare in the sky and the locals (residents, not astronomers) took to calling it 'the slime palace'. This made them think again, and the glare was quickly reduced!

Absolutely no reason why you should not mention publicly the name of the company concerned -- this is just a matter of fact. And by mentioning it, the rest of us might well avoid using their products.

Robin
davidm61
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Post by davidm61 »

Hello Geoff

I live just up the road from Stockport, (on the border of Manchester and Audenshaw), and already suffer from light pollution. Any additional sources will just make matters worse. Given my line of sight it's possible this may affect me as well. If does, and you have a petition going I'll gladly sign it. Thanks for drawing it to our attention.

As others have commented, name the company - after all if it's an article in the local papers it's public domain information, and simply passing on the company name is factual data. Let us all know who it is.
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Geoff and Robin
Sorry, as I see it, really it should be hard for the SPA NOT to get involved.
Half the problem is because astronomers and worse still astronomical organisations will not be counted.
Apparently having tested the waters by displaying their Sky Beam willy nilly, the developers have now applied for planning permission retrospectively. If organisations like the SPA cannot object then what chance does an individual have.
Of course it is a bit embarassing when astronomers floodlight Jodrell Bank's Lovell Telescope just a few miles down the road from Stockport, and apparently actually endorse such floodlighting by having it displayed on BBC televised astronomical star parties.

The "Stockport Sky Beam developers" have now applied for planning permission.
Send your objections to :-
Environment and Economy Directorate,
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council,
Hogarth House 103 Wellington Road South,
Stocckport., SK1 3TT
telephone 0161 474 3656
Apparently the Planning Application Number is DC021404
I understand the developers "say" they intend to use the lights on 42 nights a year. However, I am told that the lights have already been on at times the developer said they were not being used.
Best wishes from the Grumpy Old Codger Cliff
davep
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Post by davep »

Cliff wrote:Send your objections to :-
Do you have to live or work near the affected area to comment? Are Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council one of those councils who (like my local council) treat planning applications like state secrets and make it kind of hard for you to view the plans or might they actually make them available to view online?
Robin Scagell
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Post by Robin Scagell »

I have checked the application online (easy enough to do) and the links to the actual plans don't work. But I will email my own personal objection based on what I have seen on the Forum.

Robin
Cliff
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Post by Cliff »

Dear Robin et al
I am pleased that you sent Stockport a letter of objection with respect to the Stockportv Sky Beam. I did the same myself. I did not mention astronomy in my objection. I made the point that although I do not live in Stockport, I am concerned about the light pollution, environmental damage, energy waste and the irresponsible message this Sky Beam project will send out.
In my opinion there are so few really enthusiastic astronomical observers living spread out in the UK that the lighting fraternity will have a ball if UK astronomy rely solely on individuals to object to outrageous lighting schemes. I tghink there is need for much stronger action from the large UK astronomical organisations, otherwise any light pollution legislation will become rather meaningless.
I have attended enough controversial town planning committee meetings to realise that developers get up to all sorts of tricks to get schemes passed. Local councillors are also not entirely "reliable" but they so not like being taken on.
Best wishes from the Grumpy Old Codger Cliff
Robin Scagell
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Post by Robin Scagell »

I discovered (after hearing from the Stockport IT chap) that the plans can be downloaded but they are TIFF files and my two computers and two different browsers failed to display them. You can, however, 'save as...' and the links work. But the plans show only a map of the building which will project the beam. I believe that in fact the application itself is misrepresentative, as it fails to show the visual effect or give the technical details. I will be sending another message to the planning department complaining that the application should be rejected on these grounds alone.

If all readers of this Forum were to send their objections as astronomers I feel it would have some effect on the planning committee. Too many of these things go through on the nod and we should make our views very plain. My complaint pointed out that this beam, if it is 7 kW, will contribute to light pollution over a very wide area and therefore will affect very many more people than just those described as neighbours in the application.

This is a defect of our whole planning system -- councils usually take note of only the immediate neighbours, and quite often only those living next door, even though we are all affected by their decisions.
Kaustav
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Have written

Post by Kaustav »

I have just written my letter to them and will post it tomorrow. Good work on getting the info together, Cliff.

Kaustav.
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JohnW
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Light Pollution in Stockport

Post by JohnW »

Dear All
Further to Kaustav's remarks, thank you also to Geoff, who started this thread.
I have written accordingly to Stockport which happens to be my local council.
JohnW
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