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 Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Minister (Transport) 9:15 am, 1st February 2005

I heard the Minister's response with great interest. One issue that we did not discuss, and which might have to be covered at a later stage, is that of nuisance lighting from Christmas tree decorations. That can lead to the very type of vexatious and malicious complaint to which the Minister referred. The official Opposition do not think that it is good enough simply to say that the issue is best dealt with by other means or elsewhere. It is right and proper to state in the Bill exactly how the provisions will apply to utility companies such as British Telecom, to railways and to individuals who might feel that they have cause   for complaint. For all that I am a non-practising advocate, I believe that it is much better for all concerned that the Bill speak for itself. As little as possible should be left to interpretation and guidance.

The Minister is moving in the right direction, but it is not satisfactory that he is leaving the matter to guidance, given that, regrettably, there was not the early and lengthy consultation that many of us would have liked. At a later stage, we will seek clarification on agricultural and horticultural practices. I think that the Minister will agree that they have not been subject to a plethora of complaints. Bearing in mind that we have seen so much success as a result of grants from the Football Foundation—areas such as Poppleton in Vale of York have benefited from football pitches and in other ways—it is incumbent on the Committee to make the Bill as clear as possible.