Clause 102 - Statutory nuisance: lighting

Part of Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:15 am on 1st February 2005.

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Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 9:15 am, 1st February 2005

I was about to make the point anticipated by the hon. Lady. The exemptions mean that, for transport facilities, the status quo will apply. Although they will not be subject to the statutory nuisance regime, and so subject to regulation by local authorities under this heading, it will not prevent individuals from taking private nuisance actions in cases in which they feel that artificial lighting is causing them a severe problem. A private action can, for example, be taken by a person whose land adjoins a transport facility from which artificial lighting is

''unduly interfering with that person's comfortable or convenient enjoyment of his own land.''

We often legislate in respect of transport facilities—such as the arrangements that are dealt with in the exceptions—but it is not appropriate to go into the complexities of the arrangements for ports, airports and other transport facilities in this Bill. That is why the measure, which is intended to deal with the local nuisance that was strongly highlighted by our consultation, should be appropriately targeted. The guidance will make the application clear.

In response to the comments of the hon. Member for Vale of York, sometimes it is not appropriate for things to be clarified in the Bill because of the law of unintended consequences. The exceptions that are listed are clear and comprehensive. That is the correct way in which to deal with the matter in the Bill, and I hope that the amendment will be withdrawn.