• According to the regulations, traders must turn off their windows between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m.

  • After carrying out awareness-raising actions with Toulouse retailers, France Nature Environnement decided to take legal action to ensure that the regulations on light pollution are applied.

  • The association sent a letter to the town hall, asking it to give formal notice to the recalcitrant.

    And in case of refusal, she indicated that she would file an appeal before the administrative court to enforce the regulations.

At a time of energy sobriety, turning off the light has become a trend in recent months, especially to save money.

In Toulouse, however, businesses continue to leave their windows lit in the middle of the night, for the few revelers who walk the streets between two evenings.

On January 6, no less than 36 shops in the hypercentre, supported by a bailiff's report, had their storefronts lit at one o'clock in the morning.

A schedule where they are nevertheless supposed to be extinguished to comply with the regulations which have prohibited night lighting since 2013, from one hour to 7 am.

This counting is done by members of the association France Nature Environnement Midi-Pyrénées who decided to carry it out on the main axes of the city center.

Enforce regulations

“Compared to 2017, when we started our awareness-raising actions, it has improved, people have played the game. But, while we are all being asked to save energy, it is not normal that half of the shops in the shopping streets are still lit at night, ”deplores Hervé Hourcade, lawyer within the environmental association.


Faced with the persistence of illicit illuminations noted in the Toulouse conurbation, FNE Midi-Pyrénées is today taking legal action with the Toulouse town hall.

Explanations ⬇️#pollutionlumineuse https://t.co/qOVXZDWoPE

– FNE Midi-Pyrenees (@fne_mp) January 25, 2023

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After having played the awareness card, by going to meet shop owners or economic and political actors, the activists decided to change register when they saw the persistence of illicit illuminations.

And it was towards the town hall that they decided to turn.

Because, if the shops are private sites, compliance with the regulations on a territory is the responsibility of the mayor's police.

This is how, last December, the town hall of Tours gave formal notice to 70 of its traders who did not respect the rules according to a statement made by the municipal police.

And according to the Ministry of the Interior, if "at the end of this period, the operator has not followed the requests, the mayor will impose a fine of a maximum amount of 1,500 euros".

An appeal to the administrative court

“This has never been applied in Toulouse despite our many exchanges with the community.

Today, after years of pedagogy, we believe that we must move up a gear.

We will wait for the mayor's response within two months to find out if he is giving notice to the offending businesses.

If he does not do so or refuses, we will appeal to the administrative court,” explains Hervé Hourcade.

On the side of the town hall, it is indicated that "the Collectivity is committed to compliance with the regulations in force".

“Toulouse City Hall is also committed to a partnership approach with businesses, which demonstrate – for the vast majority of them – responsibility in terms of reducing artificial lighting and energy bills.

Action is underway to continue to raise merchants' awareness of the reduction of light pollution and the requirements for switching off their facilities," continues the Capitol, adding that it was working on the issue with the chambers of commerce. , of trades as well as the Federation of traders.

But the approach of France Nature Environnement to take legal action to see the regulations applied could push the municipality to have to take out its notebook for PV.

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