'Too Bright' Street Lights Causing Sleepless Nights

Residents in Park Road are furious over new LED lights


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Residents in Park Road say they are having sleepless nights because new street lights installed last week are too bright.

They are also angry that they were not consulted about the proposals for the new-lamp posts at the start of the planning stage as Park Road is a part of the Chiswick House Conservation area.

One local described the situation as "scandalous" and said nobody wanted sleepless nights because of LED bulbs "pouring light" into their front bedrooms and they want them removed.

Photograph taken at 9.40pm on June 17th

They have also complained that the LED lights are not in keeping with the character of their conservation area and they fear that trees may be cut back to accommodate the very high lamp columns. Hounslow Highways, who installed the lights, say the brightness will be adjusted and centrally controlled.

One local described the situation as "scandalous" and said there had been no prior consultation with residents or any notification given in advance of the work. The new lights were put up by Hounslow Highways last Saturday (June 15).

This weekend similar lights were installed in Cavendish Road and Devonshire Gardens in the Grove Park area, to the surprise of residents.

A number of Park Road residents have written to Council deputy-leader Colin Ellar and Cllr Ed Mayne (Community Safety and Regulatory services) as well as local MP Mary Macleod, on the issue.

Locals say the lights are too bright

But Hounslow Highways have said the lights need time to be adjusted and will be centrally controlled. And the company argues that the replacement lamp columns are in keeping with the nature of the conservation area.

A Hounslow Highways spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise to anyone who has had trouble sleeping because of the brightness of new energy saving LED lights. LED lighting is brighter, but the light is directed downwards onto pavements and roads, rather than into the sky.

“The new lights come with a state of the art remote management system. This will enable us to control lighting levels in particular streets and when lights come on, so we can meet the needs of individual neighbourhoods. We will be looking to trial this later this year. The replacement lamp columns are in keeping with the nature of the conservation area.

It is understood that the columns are tall because there are now national guidelines on how best to light streets and they need to be taller to cover the space between lampposts.

The statement continues; “It is worth pointing out that good, reliable street lighting is very important to residents, businesses and visitors alike. Good, reliable lighting not only makes it safer for road-users and pedestrians, but also has a positive effect on crime detection and the fear of crime.”

One resident said that he had been told by the contractors that they have finished work on the section of Park Road which is north of Staveley Road, but plan to commence work installing the new street lamps in the section south of Staveley Road in the future. He was also told that Ringway have been in touch with the Council arboriculturist with the intention of lopping the trees to accommodate the new lamps.

"This is nothing short of scandalous", he said" We live in this street and will have to put up with the consequences of LBH actions if we do not object now . We do not want to have sleepless nights because of LED bulbs pouring light into our front bedrooms."

Mr. Andy Murray of the Grove Park Group which represents residents in the area said he felt the lights were certainly out of keeping with the character of the road and contrary to what locals were led to expect would be provided for a Conservation Area. He said Conservation Areas were meant to have replacements on a 'like for like' basis but the Park Road LED lights were completely dissimilar to what they replaced.

Hounslow Council needed to have a "far more sensitive" approach to conservation areas and Grove Park should not be subject to the 'one size fits all' application that was rapidly becoming the hallmark of the 25-year, £800 million PFI Hounslow Highways scheme, he added.

We have asked Hounslow Council if the new street lights will be installed all over Chiswick and why there was no consultation with residents in Park Road or advance notification that the works were to take place.

The Council's arboriculturist has now carried out a survey of the trees in Park Road and will be making recommendations to Hounslow Highways about how to deal with the trees that are affected by their proximity to the new street lamps. This could include advice on removing some of the lamps altogether.

June 19, 2013

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