Light pollution directed up into the sky may affect the beauty of the night sky, but it is not considered a light nuisance to residents. For light to be considered as a potential statutory nuisance, it has to be a significant interference with the use and enjoyment of one's property or harmful to health.
Streetlights are unlikely to qualify as artificial light nuisance. A nuisance has to emanate from “premises” however, the highways on which streetlights are situated are not normally deemed to be "premises".
Certain types of premises are exempted such as rail, airport and public transport facilities and prisons. Industrial, trade and business premises and outdoor sports pitches have to take reasonable steps to minimise any nuisance.
There are no set levels of light above which a statutory nuisance is, or may be caused. In investigating we will take account of a range of factors including:
- Material interference with use of property or personal comfort.
- The nature and character of the local environment.
- Whether the light is due to unreasonable behaviour or commonplace action.
- Sensitivity of the complainant - statutory nuisance cannot take account of undue sensitivity due to for example, age, health, occupation or personal preferences.
- Number of households affected.