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Local Group Web Manager: Jane Tomlinson

Local Group Web Manager: Jane Tomlinson

Jane Tomlinson, PR manager, CPRE Oxfordshire

Friday, 19 August 2011 14:26

What we think about aviation

Air traffic accounts for 10% of the UK’s contribution to climate change. Aircraft noise disrupts the tranquillity of the countryside. The land around airports turn into whopping car parks and sprawling developments that eat into the surrounding countryside.

Friday, 19 August 2011 13:43

Housing matters

In Oxfordshire more than half of us live in small towns or villages. We need to plan carefully, appropriately and wisely to build the homes we need.

Friday, 19 August 2011 13:43

We care about housing

With a growing population there is ever more pressure to build houses. Everyone deserves a decent place to live. With a little imagination we can have both the homes we need and the countryside we cherish.

Monday, 01 October 2012 13:26

We care about planning

There are many planning challenges currently facing Oxfordshire and the Oxford Green Belt including housing, windfarms, mineral extraction, waste and transport infrastructure. We consider each one on its merits and ask: it is appropriate? Is it needed? What impact will it have on our countryside and our communities?

Friday, 19 August 2011 13:26

Planning matters

Planning should be a balance between economic, social and environmental considerations. It is a crucial tool in protecting our countryside, while encouraging the right development in the right places for the right reasons.

Monday, 01 October 2012 13:15

Local foods matter

Nationally CPRE is pressing for much more to be done to support local food networks and grow the economic, social and environmental benefits they bring.

Monday, 01 October 2012 13:15

What we think about local foods

How far did the food on your plate travel from the place where it was farmed? Can you even make a guess? How much of it was produced in Oxfordshire? We are losing our connection with where our food comes from. We don’t know the people who farmed it, the place where it was grown or the kind of landscape and environment it comes from. 

Monday, 01 October 2012 11:59

Farming matters

Farmers produce our food, tend our landscapes and manage, preserve and protect our precious natural resources. Their expertise and knowledge is profoundly valuable.

Friday, 19 August 2011 11:59

We care about farming

We strongly support the countryside stewardship role played by our farmers. Farmers are crucial in maintaining and protecting the beauty and diversity of our countryside. Their opinions matter.

Friday, 19 August 2011 10:49

Dark skies matter

The South East of England is the most densely populated and fast-growing region of the UK, so it's not surprising that its the most light-polluted area of the whole country. 91% of Greater London is light-saturated. The few square kilometres of truly dark land are found in pockets scattered across several counties and some distance from London, including the southern coast of the Isle of Wight.

Our region has smallest proportion of its total land area within the truly dark category – just 1%. Data shows that light pollution is a major problem and one that is growing.

It's not just that starry skies are wonderful to see. Light pollution is bad for your health! It can upset natural sleeping rhythms causing irritability and insomnia. It can increase headaches and cause anxiety. And it's not just human beings that are affected. Many organisms need the natural rhythms of light and dark for breeding, migration and feeding - light pollution can adversely affect whole eco-systems. 

And it wastes energy, and therefore precious natural resources. Turn the lights off! 

Tackling light nuisance

Intrusive lighting can now be dealt with under a new criminal offence. The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act classifies light pollution as a statutory offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

However, the new powers are limited. It deals with light nuisance, such as a neighbour’s security light shining into your window, but not the light pollution that brightens the skies of Oxfordshire and obscures the stars. Street lights are excluded from prosecution under the Act, as are goods depots, bus and rail stations and airports. And that's a shame.

In many of Oxfordshire's villages, security lights from small industrial or business units, blazing all night can completely change the atmosphere of a community and not for the better!

What you can do

If you have a localised light pollution problem, make an accurate record of it. You may be able to resolve the problem amicably. If that fails, you can contact your local environmental health service:

  • Cherwell: 01295 221616 or 01295 221616
  • South Oxfordshire: 01491 823214 or 01491 823214
  • West Oxfordshire: 01993 861060 or 01993 861060
  • Oxford: 01865 252382 or 01865 252382

You will need to convince them that the light source is a nuisance, and that your health or the enjoyment of your property is affected. If that proves fruitless, you might try the courts, but the aim of Act is to find a way of redressing light nuisance without escalating neighbourhood disputes.

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