Policy ENV 14: Light pollution
Lighting schemes will be permitted provided the following criteria are met:
- the amount of lighting is the minimum required for security, safety and/or operational purposes;
- light spillage and glare will be minimised to an acceptable level;
- the lighting is as energy efficient as possible; and
- there will be no significant adverse effect individually or cumulatively on: residential amenity; pedestrians, cyclists and other road users; the character of the area; nature conservation; heritage assets; specialist facilities; and individuals and groups.
4.86 This policy complements LPS Policy SE 12 'Pollution, land contamination and land instability', which seeks to make sure all development is located and designed so as not to result in a harmful or cumulative impact on light pollution that would unacceptably affect the natural and built environment, or detrimentally affect amenity or cause harm.
4.87 There is increasing awareness of the impact light pollution can have on wildlife, such as disrupting migration, reproduction and feeding patterns. Light pollution can also affect the well-being of people, including through sleep disruption.
4.88 Potential lighting schemes include, but are not limited to: housing developments; industrial developments; retail developments; equestrian development; illuminated advertisements and shop windows; private and school sports facilities; roads and footpaths; spaces for community use; and car parks.
4.89 Proposals including significant external lighting will require a lighting impact assessment prepared by a lighting specialist. Where the council decides to grant planning permission, conditions may be used to mitigate any significant impact such as: hours of illumination; angle of lights; light levels; column heights; specification and colour; retention of screening vegetation; or use of planting and bunding.
4.90 Consideration will be given to whether any proposal will conflict with the needs of specialist facilities which require low level of lighting. Specialist facilities include, but are not limited to, airports, observatories and general aviation facilities. The proposals should also take into account the needs of particular individuals and groups where appropriate such as astronomers, the elderly and visually impaired.
4.91 Particular attention should be paid to proposals involving additional lighting in/around conservation areas, or on/in proximity of listed buildings to prevent any harm arising to these historic assets; and to lighting proposals in rural areas which can significantly affect the character of a dark location.
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