East Farndon Parish Council (EFPC) announced in early February 2023 the completion of the upgrade to all 16 of our streetlights to run on modern, warm LED lamps. This change is generating major cost and environmental benefits.
At the same time as the LED upgrade, EFPC launched a trial of a partial dark skies initiative. This involves all streetlights being operated with part night sensors that switch the lights off between the hours of midnight and 5.30am. This allows all residents to enjoy the benefits of a dark sky as well as generating further energy usage savings.
It was agreed to seek feedback from residents in relation to the dark skies trial and formally review the results at the May 2023 EFPC meeting.
A total of fourteen East Farndon households have given their comments on the trial; thirteen of the responses were in support of the partial dark skies initiative with one against. Councillor Fallon reported that the Speed Indication Device (SID) statistics showed that the partial dark skies initiative had no impact on vehicle speeds at night.
In addition to the feedback from residents, EFPC has also considered the potential impacts of the adoption of a dark skies approach and has taken advice from a number of sources in terms of the reasoning for or against such a change.
From this analysis and taking into account the resident feedback, at the May 2023 meeting, EFPC unanimously agreed to continue with the current partial dark skies approach and formally mark the EFPC streetlighting upgrade project as complete.
Summary of Advice Received
EFPC are pleased to share the advice received in relation to part night streetlighting and its impact on road safety, crime and the environment.
NCALC – Legal and Process Advisers to Northamptonshire Parish Councils
NCALC have confirmed that the Parish Council is the Lighting Authority and thus the Parish Council is free to make its own decisions in relation to how streetlighting is delivered. They also confirmed that there is no legal duty to perform a formal safety audit prior to any changes being made. EFPC have of course considered the streetlighting changes very carefully, this including undertaking research, performing a simplified local risk assessment and taking advice from our local suppliers, Police and road safety contacts.
Northamptonshire Police Safer Roads Team
“Following our conversation, I can confirm that we are not aware of any safety implications with your plan to turn off the street lights. There are many villages throughout the county who do not have street lights and their roads are restricted by speed limit repeater signs. The only thing that would need to remain lit is if you had any physical traffic calming such as a priority working or chicane. I found an old study on the switching off of lights and the effect on safety Switching off street lights does not affect safety (roadsafetygb.org.uk)“
The study mentioned above concluded that “Switching off street lights at night has had no adverse effect on road casualties, public health or crime levels” You can read the full report published in the British Medical Journal by clicking the link below.
Views of Local Police Contacts
“There is always a small risk of residents being a victim of crime, when an area is completely dark, especially a small rural location like East Farndon My advice would be to try and retain some of the street lighting at night. I take it, the reason for turning lights off is a financial reason? If need be, we would be more than happy to hold a residents crime prevention evening in the village.”
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) – Dark Skies
The CPRE has published a survey of local authority approaches to lighting in England. This report can be read using the links below. It details the relationship between streetlights and light pollution and references the impacts on road safety and crime.
You can use this link to access the CPRE website directly.
The Natural History Museum – Dark Skies Impact on Wildlife
The Natural History Museum has published an article entitled ‘Bye-bye dark sky: is light pollution costing us more than just the night-time?’ Please click the link below to read.
East Farndon Streetlight Locations
- Harborough Road / Lubenham Lane Corner – Steel Column
- Lealand Corner – Sleeved Concrete Column
- Lealand outside No. 8 – Steel Column
- Top of Lealand – Steel Column
- Harborough Road – Steel Column
- Main Street by Spring – Steel Column
- Main Street on Beauchamp House – Wall Bracket
- Main Street by Village Hall – Steel Column
- Main Street on Hillside Farm – Wall Bracket
- Back Lane by Home Farm Close – Steel Column
- Back Lane on Hillview – Wall Bracket
- Back Lane by Farndon Hall – Steel Column
- Main Street on Horseshoe Cottage – Wall Bracket
- Main Street on Greywalls – Wall Bracket
- Main Street by Farrer Cottages – Steel Column
- Main Street by Church Cottage – Sleeved Concrete Column