Author Topic: [BAA-ebulletin 00558] National Planning Policy Review - Lighting  (Read 655 times)

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Whitters

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BAA electronic bulletin           
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2011 Jan 28

Light pollution is a serious problem for astronomers in the UK. It
also represents a waste of energy and money to light the night sky.
The UK is one of the worst light polluted countries in Europe.
Although there has been some progress in terms of better streetlight
design and more awareness of the issue of light pollution thanks to
the work of CfDS and others, the situation in many parts of the UK is
still deteriorating. A major problem is the weak control of new
lighting through the planning system. There has never been clear
national guidance (although there are some differences through
devolved powers in some parts of the UK). Many councils do not even
use their existing powers to ensure that developments are sensitively
and efficiently lit.

An opportunity to redress this situation has come about through the
Government's current comprehensive review of the planning system. The
Government Minister for planning has invited organisations and
individuals to offer their suggestions to the Department on what
priorities and policies might be adopted to produce a "shorter, more
decentralised and less bureaucratic National Planning Policy
Framework".

This Framework will replace ALL previous guidance on planning - so it
is vital for the future of astronomy in the UK that we get strong
guidance in the new document to require all planning authorities to
take into account lighting when determining planning applications - so
as to encourage good design and control, energy efficiency and sky
friendly installation - and hence combat the growing problem of light
pollution.

A strong response from the astronomy community, and all those who care
about the quality of the night sky, could help persuade the Government
to put in place clear national guidance which planning authorities
will then have to take into account.

Suggestions may be e-mailed, by 28 February 2011, to:
planningframework@communities.gsi.gov.uk

I would be happy to provide more details on request.

(sent on behalf of)
James Abbott
BAA and CfDS member and district councillor