The street lights in Birdlings Flat are being upgraded and we want to know of four possible options, which one you prefer.
On 1 February 2023, Council approved the Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū Banks Peninsula Community Board recommendation to remove 12 of the existing 19 Street lights at Birdlings Flat and turn off of the seven remaining street lights at midnight until 6am every night.
You can read the meeting minutes which include the formal resolutions.
You can view the meeting minutes, which include the formal resolutions, online at councillive.ccc.govt.nz
What happens next?
We expect work to begin mid-2023.
Consultation on Birdlings Flat street lighting has now closed. People were able to provide feedback from 13 September to 4 October 2022.
During this time we heard from 94 individuals. Five submissions were received that had no contact details and were not included in the analysis. All valid submissions and analyses are below.
In response to feedback, we are recommending option 3 with the following changes
Staff recommend that the Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū Banks Peninsula Community Board recommend to full Council, to remove 12 of the existing 19 Street lights at Birdlings Flat and turn off the seven remaining street lights from midnight until 6am every night.
In June 2018, when we first discussed the street lighting upgrade, some residents asked if we could turn off the lights permanently to create a dark skies environment. We asked the community if they supported a three-month trial of no street lights in Birdlings Flat, which they did.
We ran a trial for six months. Three months with no street lights and three months with minimal lighting, which met the dark skies requirements.
Upgrade all street lights to LED lamps.
This option maintains the same lighting level as now, but with more sustainable LED lamps. There can be flexibility to switch lights off in the early hours of the morning.
Remove all street lights.
This option would achieve the dark skies environment but some people may feel less safe with no street lighting.
Keep minimal lighting at all major intersections. Upgrade lamps to LED.
This option would reduce the light emitted at night while providing lighting at intersections to maintain road safety.
Keep minimal lighting at major intersections on Poranui Beach Road. Upgrade lamps to LED.
This option achieves a darker sky environment but may still make some people feel less safe as there are no lights on the adjoining roads.
Birdlings Flat residents met to discuss their street lighting.
Community representatives briefed the Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū Banks Peninsula Community Board on the resident’s views.
|June 2018 to December 2021||
A council report covering the health, safety and environmental concerns around LED lighting was shared with the community.
A further community meeting was held where specific issues were discussed.
Project team worked with community leaders to develop a plan to engage the Birdlings Flat community.
Leaflet delivered to all properties outlining the lighting options and advertising a drop-in session.
A drop-in session was held to answer questions about the lighting options and potential trial.
|February 2022||The survey results were shared with the community. The majority of people wanted no street lights.|
|February to May 2022||
Trial for no street lighting started.
|June to August 2022||
Three street lights were turned on in Clifton Street which met the dark skies requirements.
All street lights were turned back on.
The LED lights are shining onto properties even after dimming and tilting.
This can be resolved by installing lights with back light controls where required.
There has been an increase in outside lights on properties.
This is a common outcome when reducing or removing street lighting. Well-designed street lighting can reduce the perception that additional property lights are required and reduce the impact on the night sky.
If LED lights are installed can they be on a timer?
Across Christchurch, lights are dimmed from midnight until 6am. The Birdlings Flat lights can be dimmed or turned off at a predetermined time and turned back on again in the morning. If the community supports retaining street lighting then this can be looked at in more detail.
Has there been more crime as a result of the lights being turned off?
Comparing the figures from police reports for the period the lights were switched off, and the same period for the previous year, there were 40% fewer reported events.
No street lighting makes it difficult for ambulances to reach patients.
Response from St John:
“We don’t have any real preference. Street lighting does help us locate addresses or assess patients who may be on the roadside, although the ambulances/response cars do have spotlights to enable us to light up addresses or a scene if needed”.
* There may be a delay in presenting the final results to Council due to the election period.