Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell has joined an influential cross-party coalition of parliamentarians in calling for urgent action from the government to take action to cut damaging light pollution.
In its new report Ten dark sky policies for the government, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Dark Skies says that light pollution is growing exponentially, and new initiatives are needed to crack down on the crisis of “night blight”.
The report highlights big gaps in the existing legal framework and planning permission process regulating light pollution and calls for new measures to protect the UK’s dark skies and night-time landscape.
Parliamentarians have said that in order to enforce rules and enhance oversight the government needs to set up a statutory Commission for Dark Skies and designate a new Minister for the Dark Sky.
They say the UK must join countries such as France and South Korea that have already legislated for the improved protection of dark skies, with approaches that focus on planning regulation, light curfews and metrics limiting light output.
A debate will be held in Parliament next Monday, December 14, giving MPs the chance to discuss government policy on dark skies and promote the proposals of the report.
The most recent annual Star Count produced by CPRE found that in 2020 61% of people in the UK are in areas with severe light pollution – meaning that they could count fewer than ten stars in the Orion constellation, a rise in the number of people experiencing severe light pollution from the previous year when 57% of people taking part fell into that category.
Mr Fell, who is a member of the parliamentary Dark Skies group said: “It’s time that action is taken nationally and locally here in Furness to stem damaging light pollution.”
“I would urge the government to consider our ten dark sky policies and I will continue to promote the adoption of ‘dark sky friendly’ lighting and planning policies wherever appropriate in our constituency.”