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Tendring District Council (21 009 461)

Category : Transport and highways > Street furniture and lighting

Decision : Not upheld

Decision date : 03 Feb 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: Mr D complains about a street light installed near his home by the Council in 2021. The Ombudsman has discontinued the investigation because further investigation of the case would not likely lead to a different outcome, and we cannot achieve the redress sought by Mr D.

The complaint

  1. The complainant (whom I refer to as Mr D) is complaining about the installation of a street light by the Council near his home in 2021. He says the Council should have consulted him. He also states the light blocks his night view of the sea from his home and he wants the Council to remove the light.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or may decide not to continue with an investigation if we decide:
  • any injustice is not significant enough to justify our involvement, or
  • we could not add to any previous investigation by the organisation, or
  • further investigation would not lead to a different outcome, or
  • we cannot achieve the outcome someone wants.

(Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6))

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered the information provided by Mr D.
  2. I shared my draft decision with both parties.

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What I found

  1. In 2021 the Council installed a street light to prevent anti-social behaviour. This was carried out under Permitted Development which meant there was no duty on the Council to consult residents. Mr D subsequently complained to the Council about the light disturbing him. The Council found no evidence of a statutory light nuisance. It responded to his formal complaint and said that whilst it had no requirement to consult residents on the light it could have chosen to do so. In future it would look at whether similar cases need a consultation process. In addition, it carried out several adjustments to the street light including changing the strength of bulb and altering its height and angle.
  2. I am discontinuing the investigation. Mr D says the light disturbs him and blocks his view of the sea at night. He wants the street light removed. I do not see there is a significant outstanding injustice or that further investigation would alter our understanding of the case. In addition, we cannot achieve the outcome sought by Mr D.

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Final decision

  1. I have discontinued the investigation.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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