As the lights prepare to go out in streets across Poole, one resident is so concerned he is considering a legal challenge.

Gerry Bolland of Woodpecker Drive fears the effects of Borough of Poole’s policy of part-night lighting – switching off lights in selected residential roads at night – to cut costs and reduce the carbon footprint.

A trial was introduced in 2009/10 with 150 lights in 18 streets turned off from midnight to 6am and now the council is considering another swathe in roads of “relatively low concerns for road safety and crime”.

Mr Bolland said: “In areas where street lighting is switched off, burglary and car crimes are likely to increase, if not immediately then inevitably over time.”

He raised issues of safety, questioned why half the lights could not be turned off, argued cars on drives could be damaged or stolen and added: “All I, and other people, will do is turn on security lighting.”

The estate is close to Upton Heath, where arson remained a concern for residents.

He said: “I would strongly urge the council to look again at these options.”

Mr Bolland has written to the Home Office and is looking at a legal challenge. He fears a two-tier society with gated communities for those who could afford it and “life in the ghetto” for everyone else.

“It’s less than 12 months since we had major civil disturbance, arson and rioting across the country. How exactly do we manage that in the dark? The threads that hold our society together are I believe more fragile than most might think. If we start to dismantle that infrastructure, this will inevitably come at a price to society.”

Residents of Hewitt Road, Hamworthy have also raised concerns because of unlit secluded garages at the rear of homes and alleys on the estate.

Borough of Poole said trials will not be introduced in roads where the majority of residents were opposed to the scheme but councillors will make the final decision.

“We would encourage residents living in potentially affected areas to respond to the consultation so that members can make an informed decision about where to proceed with phase two of the trial,” said Julian McLaughlin, head of transportation services.