COMPANIES accused of causing light pollution will be allowed to keep a controversial lighting scheme in place permanently.

The industrial site in Pilsworth which has been the subject of controversy in the area had its plans approved by councillors at a meeting on Tuesday.

Gigg Lane Estate residents have complained about the lighting coming from Commercial Development Projects’ and Cranswick Country Foods' units.

Neighbouring Waterfarm Fishery's owner David Gibbon also told the planning committee that the lighting, which was temporarily approved on a six-month basis, is having an impact on his members.

However, measures have been taken to address concerns by reducing light pollution and spillage, according to the latest application.

This includes fixing a shield or screen to some lighting columns, known as “baffling”, to control the direction and angle of the light.

Speaking on behalf of the applicants, Roy Thompson told committee members that the companies are in talks with contractors about fitting more baffling.

He said: “The lighting is crucial for safely moving our vehicles throughout the night.”

Up to 36 people work at the site during the night, according to Mr Thompson, and the units have recently been broken into.

The decision was deferred at a previous meeting so that members of the planning committee could visit the site at night first.

Cllr Jackie Harris, who requested the visit which took place on April 8, said that councillors spent a lot of time on a “long, dark night” at the site.

She said: “From the housing perspective there were quite a lot of street lights. The factory was in the distance. That walkway is very, very well lit up.

"We saw someone in the distance fishing. The light from the factory, in my opinion, did not shine directly towards him.”

But Mr Gibbon said he wanted to show councillors what his members could see from the fishery during the site visit by inviting them onto the premises.

He claimed he did not hear back from his local councillors or the planning department leading him to go through the formal complaints procedure.

Cllr Harris said she was sympathetic to the objector but could not see any other way forward. The committee unanimously approved the application.