Consulting on switching off Chichester street lights

Mary Carless outside her home in Willowbed Avenue
Mary Carless outside her home in Willowbed Avenue

A SLEEP-DEPRIVED artist has pledged her support to a council U-turn that could see darkness descend on Chichester.

Just a year after newly-installed streetlights outraged residents as they shone throughout the night, West Sussex County Council is looking at switching the new lights to ‘part-night lighting’.

This would see them turned off in most of the city’s residential streets just after midnight and coming on again briefly before dawn.

Mary Carless, 65, of Willowbed Avenue, had a streetlight set up near her bedroom window last year as part of the county’s 
25-year contract with SSE.

“To my absolute horror, the light was put outside my house from across the road,” she said.

She added she had not been able to get a good night’s sleep since it happened.

“I love change, but it stops you sleeping. I just think in this day and age, it’s very sad to have lights on all night long.”

Chichester City Council is undertaking the consultation on behalf of the county.

A county council spokesman said: “Following recent installations of new equipment in Chichester, WSCC has understood from feedback received that many residents are not in favour of all-night lighting and would prefer to see a return to a part-night lighting regime.

“WSCC would certainly support such a move.”

The council has operated a part-night lighting system for many years and was one of the first authorities to introduce such a scheme.

Chichester switched to all-night lighting recently after the county council sought views from parish councils across the county on street lights and the city was found to prefer all-night lighting.

Under the latest proposals, lights in the city centre would still remain on throughout the night.

Chichester City Council needs to receive residents’ comments by September 1.

Email or call 01243 788502 for more information.