Denbighshire’s draft ‘Dark Sky’ policy in consultation
The public is invited to check whether the planning guidelines intended to reduce light pollution in an area of outstanding natural beauty require changes.
Additional information on developments affecting the Clwydian Range and the Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) was discussed at the recent Denbighshire Council planning meeting.
Essentially, it sets the development policy within the AONB which aims to ensure that everyone from astronomers to the casual observer can actually see the night sky in all its glory.
The guidelines, which will be submitted for public comment this month, aim to stop ill-designed outdoor lighting that inhibits views of the night sky – which will be a material planning consideration in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB.
The ripple effect is that lighting with a “cooler” color temperature can also consume less energy.
However, it can also have major benefits for nocturnal fauna, reducing the impact of humans on the natural environment of flora and fauna.
An example of the effects of poor lighting came in 2015, when a change from sodium street lighting to low-wattage LED lights revived the working population of the glow on the headland, after it had brought to the attention of Conwy County Council by amateur naturalist Jenni Barreur.
His research showed that male glowworms were distracted by sodium lamps and this prevented them from looking for females.
After the lighting changes, the males started noticing females again and the population exploded.
Senior Housing and Communities Member Cllr Tony Thomas said the advice would also help make the area attractive to tourists keen to sample the unspoiled natural environment.
The guide recommends lighting controls, preventing light from escaping upwards, using lights that emit a color temperature of no more than 3000 Kelvin and devices such as motion detectors to limit the length of time. use of exterior lights.
Once the policy is adopted it will affect planning decisions in the Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham councils, all of which have areas within the AONB.
They are also seeking recognition from the International Dark Sky Association for designating the area as a Dark Sky community.
The AONB stretches from the borders of Prestatyn, to Llangollen in the south and near Chirk and Corwen in the west.
Councilors unanimously agreed that the document should be sent for public comment.