If a source of light is very bright, becoming a nuisance and preventing you from sleeping, you can report it.

Where we can't help

We cannot take action if normal levels of artificial light shines onto your property. Some commercial properties do not apply:

  • railways
  • tramways
  • bus premises and any associated facilities
  • public service vehicle operating centres
  • goods vehicle operating centres
  • prisons, including youth offender institutes.

What you can do before reporting a residential light nuisance

Before you report a complaint against your neighbour, we advise you to speak to them as they may not be aware of the light troubling you. Your neighbour will certainly be upset if they hear of a complaint from the council, so do approach them first by politely requesting:

  • moving, or partially shading, the light
  • fitting an infrared sensor
  • using a lower wattage bulb, which are cheaper and more efficient.


What we can do  

If your neighbour is unwilling to take action, you can report it and an officer will contact you to arrange a visit.

If we witness a statutory nuisance, we will serve an abatement notice. This is a legal document that we serve on the person responsible for the light nuisance, or the owner or occupier of the premises. It instructs them to stop the light nuisance and not allow it to restart.

The notice is normally served on the person responsible for the nuisance; however, if that person cannot be found, the owner or occupier of the premises causing the nuisance will be issued with the notice instead.

Important: If we need to take legal action to resolve the issue you report, we may have to disclose your personal details. For example, if we serve a legal notice on the person causing the problem, they have a right to know who made the complaint if they decide to legally appeal against the abatement notice in court. Similarly, if a case goes to the court, you may be required to give evidence.

Report residential light pollution


If the abatement notice is not complied with, the person served with the notice may be prosecuted. They could be fined:

  • £5,000 (maximum fine in domestic nuisance cases)
  • £20,000 (commercial and industrial nuisance cases).

Light nuisance at a commercial property

If you would like to report a light issue at a commercial property in the borough, use our online form.

Report a light nuisance at a commercial property

Page last updated: 15 Feb 2023