'˜Lytham lighthouse row' - over a single bulb - ends in costly court case

A neighbourly dispute over a security light spilled over into a court case estimated to have cost taxpayers thousands of pounds.

Tuesday, 15th August 2017, 3:15 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 12:12 pm
The light was used to illuminate steps up to Ms Simkin's home, at the back at this house
The light was used to illuminate steps up to Ms Simkin's home, at the back at this house

Lesley Simkin, 66, was hauled before magistrates after a neighbour complained about the light, which overlooks her first floor level garden and is directly opposite his children’s bedroom windows.

Three magistrates, two senior barristers, two high ranking fire officers, two solicitors, and an expert witness, along with court staff and other witnesses including environmental investigators, all gathered in Blackpool for the case.

Ms Simkin could have faced a £20,000 fine had she gone to trial and lost, but her legal team, and that of Fylde Council, came to an agreement following talks lasting several hours.

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She was given 14 days to remove the light from her home in North Clifton Street, Lytham.

Chairman of the bench Marilyn Pagett said: “We expect this to be resolved and will be very disappointed and will take a very dim view if it has not. This has taken a great deal of time and money.”

The ‘Lytham Lighthouse’ row is the latest in a string of disputes between the two neighbours.

Lancashire Police said officers were called out in May following arguments over CCTV cameras and a security gate. A spokeswoman yesterday said: “Both parties agreed it was a civil dispute.”

The court was told the light was so bright the neighbour’s children didn’t have to use their own lights to read – and had struggled to sleep.

Ms Simkin’s barrister Christopher Moss said the light was being used to illuminate steps at the back of her home for ‘safety reasons’.

He added: “My client’s stance is ‘tell me what you wish me to do and I will do it’”

Council staff will check the light has been removed.