St Albans Skyline Scarred By Car Park Floodlights

PUBLISHED: 07:49 16 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

TRIMMING floodlights on a St Albans car park down to size won t stop them from polluting the skyline , an angry local resident has argued. Les O Leary of Ridgmont Road is heading a campaign group against the floodlights on top of the St Albans city stati

TRIMMING floodlights on a St Albans car park down to size won't stop them from "polluting the skyline", an angry local resident has argued.

Les O'Leary of Ridgmont Road is heading a campaign group against the floodlights on top of the St Albans city station car park in Charrington Place, which emit light 24 hours a day and shine into residents' properties nearby.

In response to complaints from Ridgmont Road and Lime Tree Place residents, the district council has threatened developers Linden Homes, which put up the floodlights in 2004, with enforcement action unless they decrease the height of the floodlights.

Linden Homes has proposed to reduce the 6.2 metre-high lamp columns to 4.2 metres but Les, who turns 60 this year, said that that would not make a difference.

He went on: "The original planning application said that the floodlights would be three metres high and even then I am sure there would be substantial overspill of light beyond the car park."

He added: "When it comes to bedtime I am faced with 70 high-powered floodlights blazing through my bedroom window - we have to use blackout curtains! I used to be able to see all the way to Fleetville, but now all I see out the window is Stalag 14."

District councillor for the St Peter's ward Michael Green said that he fully supported Les's campaign and added: "It's an issue which has been going on for almost two years. The car park was supposed to have been built with a number of safeguards such as roof screens but, as is so often the case, what appeared on paper did not come into practice."

Les, who is one of about 12 residents affected by the floodlight overspill, said that he has invited members of the planning committee to his home: "I want them to gauge how serious the situation is and you have to see the view from my bedroom window to appreciate it. Hopefully they'll sympathise with our cause and do something to eradicate the floodlights forever."

Linden Homes wrote in their planning application last month that the visibility of the floodlights was "unavoidable", but added: "The current proposals will minimise disturbance as far as possible which is the key benefit of this application.

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