Nightmare of streetlights beaming out 24 hours a day

Streetlights which are beaming out light 24 hours a day are causing a nightmare for families in a Mid Sussex village.

Tuesday, 6th September 2016, 12:23 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 8:49 pm
Bill and Janice Kent (back row at edges) and with neighbours Ian Maskell, and Sue Deane are being kept awake at night by a streetlight - which are on 24 hours - shining into their bedrooms. Pic Steve Robards SR1625326 SUS-160209-160151001

Residents in Hurstpierpoint say that they are being kept awake at night by the lights shining into their bedroom windows.

Janice Kent, who lives in Hassocks Road with her husband Bill, said: “It is just driving us daft. Short of putting up blackout curtains, I don’t know what to do.”

She said she first noticed the problem about a year ago, but recently she had suffered even more sleep disruption. “During the hot weather, I couldn’t even open the curtains on a stifling night. It was awful.”

She said neighbours and others living in nearby Highfield Drive were similarly affected and their sleep was also being blighted.

One neighbour, Ian Maskell, has been confined to a wheelchair after an accident, and has to sleep downstairs. “He’s fed up, too, with the light constantly shining through his room,” said Janet.

She said she had been told the lights were being kept on permanently to save money.

A spokesman for Hurstpierpoint Parish Council, which is responsible for the lighting, said: “We are very sorry about this inconvenience and expect to rectify the matter over the next few weeks.

“The parish council operates around 140 lights across Hurstpierpoint and Sayers Common. These are seriously ageing, unreliable and costly, both in maintenance and energy consumption.

“We have just let a contract to specialists SSE in Burgess Hill to replace all these lights with new efficient units and are expecting the work to be completed by December.

“The particular problems in Hassocks Road apply to around 20 streetlights in the area which operated on central switching from the nearby sub-station.

“This is an outdated system, and at the end of 2015 the area electricity cabling authority decided to update the local substation and remove the central switch.

“This matter was outside our control and had the effect of having the lights either permanently on or off.

“The cost of making a temporary fix would be around £500 per light which was considered not to be good value, bearing in mind the imminent replacement with new units.

“We have reviewed the particular situation with the home of Mr and Mrs Kent, and considered removing the bulb. However, this is a busy and narrow section of road and there would be added risks if no light was on.

“The streetlight is actually some distance from the front of Mr and Mrs Kent’s house and, while we acknowledge and apologise for their inconvenience, we will be pressing ahead with installing the new lights as quickly as possible.”