Woman forced council to replace LED streetlights that kept her awake at night

Woman forced council to replace LED streetlights that kept her awake at night

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GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 18/04/2024

- 20:39

Sasha Rodoy claimed it was the first case of its kind in the UK

A woman has won a "landmark" case against a council arguing she was kept awake by streetlights.

Sasha Rodoy argued that she found the brightness of the LED streetlights outside her London home unbearable.

The 70-year-old incurred about £50,000 in legal costs to fight the planned change to Barnet borough’s lighting, which she said she did in the public interest in what Rodoy claimed was the first case of its kind in the UK.

Rodoy suffers from photophobia, a heightened sensitivity to light, which was caused by eye surgery several years ago.

\u200bBarnet Council

Sasha Rodoy brought the case against Barnet Council

Google Maps/PA

Rodoy complained to the north London council that the glare from the energy-efficient lights installed from 2019, and estimated to save the council £750,000 a year, hurt her eyes and affected her sleep because of the blue glow that they emitted.

She told The Times: "I’m not the only person to complain about the effects of these lights...The first time I went out after dark to walk my dog, I felt like I’d walked on to a floodlit football pitch and could hardly open my eyes against the glare."

Officials at Barnet council have now agreed to replace the bulbs in her street by July 2.

The 4000K LED lanterns will be replaced with 2200K warm white LEDs, or an equivalent, to provide lighting similar to the high-pressure sodium lights in use before 2019. A spokesman for Barnet said that the council was “pleased to have reached an agreement” with Rodoy.


A man walks along a street road at night

The 4000K LED lanterns will be replaced with 2200K warm white LEDs (file pic)


It comes after the London Borough of Havering said it will lower the brightness of 4,000 lights on its main roads between midnight and 5am.

The council, which is led by a Havering Residents Association and Labour coalition, said last week it had passed its "toughest budget ever" with huge cuts amid a £32.5million deficit which is projected to rise to £81.9million over the next four years.

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, which supports victims of stalking, told Daily Mail: "What we would want to know is to what extent has the council consulted with local people about the proposed changes and how will they monitor the impact of the changes on people's feelings of, and actual, safety?

"In addition, we would emphasise that street lighting in any case is not the answer to tackling crime including violence against women and girls and we would urge the council to publish their wider plans to tackle this."

Leader of Havering Council Ray Morgon said: "We fully recognise the worries around safety and this is why, in our budget savings, we are only proposing plans to dim the street lights on our main roads between 12am and 5am. Street lighting on residential roads would remain on full power and brightness. This has been consulted on as part of the budget consultation where nearly 4,000 people responded.

"With regards to the question around dimming lights, the majority of respondents to that question felt the street lighting proposals would have little or no impact on either them personally (59 per cent) or the community (42 per cent).

"Indeed some respondents felt the proposals would have a positive impact on themselves (24 per cent) and on the community (29 per cent) than a negative impact.

"There has some concern expressed during consultation that this may lead to an increase in some crime but Officers who have been involved in similar schemes in other boroughs found no evidence of this. We will of course consult with the police and relevant partners to ensure lighting that supports CCTV provision is not compromised."

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