Complaints over new Chichester streetlights

Ivan Gardner and Dave Owens, worried that the replacement lampposts which are in the pocess of being installed behind them, are much higher than the old ones, and cause more light pollution Picture by Kate Shemilt C130852-2
Ivan Gardner and Dave Owens, worried that the replacement lampposts which are in the pocess of being installed behind them, are much higher than the old ones, and cause more light pollution Picture by Kate Shemilt C130852-2

PEOPLE in Chichester are in for a ‘right old shock’ as new street lights are set up throughout the city.

This is the opinion of Ivan Gardner, of Guildford Place, who said the new posts were increasing light pollution throughout the city.

“It seems such a shame. We’re a rural city, we’re not a town,” he said.

The new lampposts are around a metre taller than the previous ones, are turned on all the way through the night, apparently glow with greater intensity and, according to residents, have ineffective shielding which means they shine into bedrooms, hallways and back gardens.

Mr Gardner said: “I can quite understand if they want a more energy efficient light.

“I’ve no problem with new lighting but we don’t want to be lit up like a football pitch.”

He said he has made a number of comments to West Sussex County Council, however each time he has been told they set a maximum height of six metres for the lampposts and it was the decision of subcontractors Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) to erect the six-metre posts.

Conversely, SSE told him it was the county council’s decision.

“It’s very frustrating,” said Mr Gardner, before adding: “I don’t think people in Chichester realise how bad it’s going to be with these lights.”

From April, 2010, SSE Contracting commenced a 25-year government-backed maintenance contract across the county.

Neil Anderson, of SSE Contracting, said the change in column height was agreed in 2010.

He added: “The change to the height was made to enhance uniformity of light so providing a safer environment.

“In some cases higher column heights reduce the number of required columns which will increase energy efficiency over time.”

Work in Chichester commenced in the last few months.

Regarding potential safety benefits from increased street lighting, Mr Gardner said that even if the area was lit up like a ‘football stadium’ that still would not prevent someone hiding behind a nearby bush.

The county council did not respond to the request for a comment.