NEW street lights in a Borders town have drawn complaints from residents who say they cannot sleep at night.
And one newcomer to Innerleithen said she might move because of the issue at the new Caerlee Mill development.
During the public forum of the community council, Maria Findlay said: “I’m very new to the area, having moved here three months ago and having chosen Innerleithen very deliberately. I have been delighted to be part of this community, and it has been such a difficulty to actually realise that the lights are so bad that they could potentially prevent me from living here – that is the extent it’s got to.”
She added: “The front bedrooms are not accessible for sleeping because, despite blackout blinds, the light is so strong it seeps in and wakes you up, so sleep is difficult. The contractor says it’s temporary, but they have no idea when it can be remedied because of various bits which are coming from Germany.”
Ms Findlay says she contacted Environmental Health and is awaiting a visit.
She also told the meeting that a neighbour had contacted Scottish Borders Council, who said “it was nothing to do with them” as the road is yet to be adopted.
In comparison to other residential streets, Ms Findlay feels there is an over-provision of lighting in the small residential space.
“It’s somehow made worse because we are totally illuminated, yet the park which is behind me is pitch black. So it’s a very strange sensation to be in this bubble of light.”
Tweeddale East councillor Stuart Bell, of the SNP, said approaching Environmental Health was the right course of action as it will not allow the road to be adopted until the contractor solves the problem.
He suggested that residents are put in touch with SBC’s lighting team, adding: “I am absolutely sure that a resolution to your anxieties can be found such that you continue to be an enthusiastic member of this community.”
Meanwhile, fellow Tweeddale East councillor Shona Haslam, of the Conservatives, has been working with residents on the issue and said that her understanding is that there is a global shortage of lamppost reflectors.
She added the developers have found a solution and have intimated they will fix the lights soon.
She offered to contact Whitburn developers and have the lighting design checked by council engineers.
A spokesperson for the Caerlee Mill development said: “The street lighting is designed and approved to standard set by Scottish Borders Council, it incorporates LED lighting as part of their ongoing commitment to energy saving and light pollution. We are in the process of replacing temporary street lighting bulbs which were installed to compensate for the significant delay we experienced in the supply of the lamps specified by the local authority. These delays of supply are down to circumstances outwith our operational control, but it was essential for street lighting to be available for residents.
“On a positive note, we have recently fitted 10 of the 12 low energy LED lamps required at the development, and it is our expectation that matters will be fully resolved in the coming weeks when this work is completed and we thank homeowners for their patience.”