garden lighting

Discuss the greatest threat to amateur astronomy today

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astroeyes
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garden lighting

Post by astroeyes »

Hi, My neighbour has recently installed some pretty aggressive garden lighting. You can see and read about it here:

http://www.librapix.com/lightpollution/ ... mber56.asp

Does anyone know whether this type of lighting will be covered by the new 'Clean Neighbourhoods' act that is coming in soon? I have asked my neighbour if he would turn the light off when I observe, but he has refused and also has refused to view the problem from my garden or even to move the lamp to a less offensive site in his garden. I am getting ready for a battle!
David
joe
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Post by joe »

David,

Horrific. Not much help but you have my sympathy. Does he turn it off when he goes to bed?
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jeff.stevens
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Post by jeff.stevens »

David,

That is horrendous. Irrespective of your interest in astronomy, that is just plain offensive lighting. I'm not sure whether this link will be of any use:

http://www.britastro.org/dark-skies/law.html?2O

Jeff.
astroeyes
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garden lights

Post by astroeyes »

Hi Joe/Jeff,
Pretty horrendous. Well, the first time I asked him if he could it off while I observed (at 11-00pm) he did. The second time, at 10-30pm , he refused and said he'd leave it on till 3-30 in the morning! Nice character - I haven't asked since!!
David
A
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Post by A »

Hi David

There is an article on the new law in the January copy
of Sky at Night magazine. It says what is covered, also ways
of going about taking action.
astroeyes
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new lp law

Post by astroeyes »

Thanks A for that. I have the mag. It's a good article - but unfortunately the Act is not law yet though it should be by April.
In the meantime*******???
David
jeff.stevens
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Post by jeff.stevens »

Happy New Year to all.

David, it looks as though your neighbour isn't open to discussion, which is a shame. However, it might be worth trying again - in reality you've pointed out to him that he's been particularly arrogant, inconsiderate and down right stupid by placing that type of lighting in that location - probably not the reaction he expected. Maybe if he's had a few days to mull it over he might be more amenable to discussion?

Despite the fact that the law isn't properly in force yet, is it still worth approaching your local authority? He's basically gone and installed street-lighting in his back garden. Failing that you could inform him of the new act, and that you'll be pursuing that route at the earliest opportunity - and remind him that all you're asking is for it to be turned off at a reasonable time.

What's the feeling from other neighbours - have you spoken to them? If this doesn't constitute nuisance lighting, then I don't know what does.

Jeff.
Mike Feist
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Post by Mike Feist »

HI
Is the intervening fence yours or his? If yours could you not install some kind of hoarding to stop the light coming into your garden.
Mike
astroeyes
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garden lamppost

Post by astroeyes »

Jeff, I wrote him quite a nice civil letter explaining the situation as I see it. Unfortunately, they spent a great deal of time outside huddled round their full blast patio heater. Most nights in fact even this time of year - so any night I want to observe they're bound to out with the lamp blazing. My other neighbours are elderly and they don't even notice the light as they seldom go in the garden in winter and not at night- but I will speak to them and see how they feel.
At the moment I am waiting to see if my letter with it's enclosures about light pollution do any good
David
astroeyes
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garden lighting

Post by astroeyes »

Mike,
I have considered erecting a screen (possibly with mirrors to reflect the light back) but the problem is the lamp is so tall I'd need about 8ft posts to even reach it. will be a last resort I think at the moment.
David
applecounty
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Post by applecounty »

I have considered erecting a screen (possibly with mirrors to reflect the light back) but the problem is the lamp is so tall I'd need about 8ft posts to even reach it. will be a last resort I think at the moment.
You would probably contravine the planning laws, which only allows for a 2mtr maximum height for fencing (from memory). I'd consult your local authority planning dept before erecting anything. Failure to tread carefully on the issue of your neighbours selfish attitude, may just turn them into the victims in the eyes of the establishment. I had a problem with a neighbour, which was covered by the 'Boundary Wall Act', it went as far as our solicitors. As she pointed out "The Law is very much on your side but, it is up to you to fund the process". In other words yes you have a case but, unless you can afford (£!!) to proceed, then don't bother.
Neighbour disputes can be very protracted.
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Post by joe »

applecounty wrote:You would probably contravine the planning laws, which only allows for a 2mtr maximum height for fencing (from memory).
Might I be allowed a guess that the 2 metre maximum for fencing does not also apply equally to lighting? :roll:
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Mell
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Post by Mell »

Hi David

Does the light shine into your house, if it does then maybe under the new regs it could be classed as a nuisance.

I had a problem with a security light and the guy who owned it was very arrogant, even to my husband!

A letter from the Environmental Health did no good, I had to wait for the new regs, write him a letter with a copy of a newsletter which mentioned about fines etc relating to nuisance lighting and neighbours! I also mentioned about taking action in April when they come into force, if he didn't do anything! it worked.

You can see my post here under this link http://www.popastro.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1433

The security light that was causing me problems wasn't next door though, there is a main road and 2 grass verges between us, as well as our gardens.

Good luck
Mell Jeffery, FRAS.
Occultation Section Director
Email - occultation@popastro.com
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astroeyes
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garden lights

Post by astroeyes »

I just want to thank everyone who has made suggestions for me and tried to help. It really feels as though I have got a lot of friends behind me here and that is a great feeling. Thanks for your story Mell, that gives me real hope that I will achieve a good result.
Thanks again,
David
Lawrie
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Post by Lawrie »

Light Pollution - Dealing with Awkward Neigbours
Some years ago I was employed as a mediator for an organisation whose members sometimes got involved in similar disputes.
Experience proved the following procedures most effective:

1. Always approach the offender very politely. NEVER say or imply, that he is rude, arrogant, unthinking, or worse. (However tempted you might be!)
2. When doing so take a (silent) witness with you. NEVER let the witness join in.(This is most important. the witness is there to observe - nothing more)
3. Afterwards, note the date and time of the approach and get the witness to sign it.
4. If the nuisance persists, repeat the above, always being very careful to remain polite even if provoked.
5. Now write a (polite ) letter verifying what you have done so far and what if anything has been the result. Again make a copy this and get it witnessed.
6. If still not settled, be extremely patient and repeat 4. and 5. yet again.

Now if nothing happens you can quite justifiably take the matter to the Authorities . The fact that you have demonstrably tried, patiently, politely
and persistently, to settle the dispute amicably before resorting to the Law places a very powerfful argument in your favour, particularly if the matter
comes to Court. ( In practice it rarely gets this far.)

As this is becoming a common problem perhaps the SPA might prepare some general advice along similar lines for members.

Lawrie
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