East Farndon new LED streetlights and partial dark skies trial

East Farndon Parish Council (EFPC) are pleased to announce that we are upgrading 13 of our streetlights in late January 2023. This will result in all 16 of our streetlights running on modern, warm white LED lamps.

For a few years now, EFPC has been building a financial reserve to replace all of our existing old and now obsolete streetlights. The change to LED improves our energy efficiency and supports our quest to make change that helps to combat the climate emergency. The changes also give the parish significant energy cost savings that in part will help our residents with the current cost of living crisis.

At the same time as the change to LED streetlights, EFPC will launch a trial of a partial dark skies initiative. This involves all streetlights being fitted with part night sensors that will switch our lights off between the hours of midnight and 5.30am. This change will allow all residents to enjoy the benefits of a dark sky as well as generate further energy usage savings.

EFPC has 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. On balance, EFPC is of the opinion that the adoption of part night streetlighting is the right way forward and that it will benefit the village, environment and its wildlife greatly.

EFPC are very keen to receive comments on these changes from all residents. Please email your comments to Caroline Burton and / or Mervyn Curtis.

The progress of the trial, including the analysis of comments from residents, will be reviewed at the Parish Council meeting on Wednesday 17th May 2023.

EFPC are pleased to share the advice we have received in relation to part night streetlighting and its impact on road safety, crime and the environment. We encourage all residents to read and consider the information below and comment as appropriate. 

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.

BMJ Streetlight Study

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.

CPRE Shedding Light – Summary

CRPRE Shedding Light – Full Report

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.

https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/light-pollution.html

East Farndon Streetlight Locations
  1. Harborough Road / Lubenham Lane Corner – Steel Column
  2. Lealand Corner – Sleeved Concrete Column
  3. Lealand outside No. 8 – Steel Column
  4. Top of Lealand – Steel Column
  5. Harborough Road – Steel Column
  6. Main Street by Spring – Steel Column
  7. Main Street on Beauchamp House – Wall Bracket
  8. Main Street by Village Hall – Steel Column
  9. Main Street on Hillside Farm – Wall Bracket
  10. Back Lane by Home Farm Close – Steel Column
  11. Back Lane on Hillview – Wall Bracket
  12. Back Lane by Farndon Hall – Steel Column
  13. Main Street on Horseshoe Cottage – Wall Bracket
  14. Main Street on Greywalls – Wall Bracket
  15. Main Street by Farrer Cottages – Steel Column
  16. Main Street by Church Cottage – Sleeved Concrete Column