Circular Lighting Report

City of London adopts light pollution initiative

City of London lighting

The City of London Corporation Planning and Transportation Committee has agreed to adopt a ground-breaking initiative that will require developers to submit detailed plans to minimise light pollution at the early stages of their planning applications.

The Lighting Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) will provide guidance for developers on lighting buildings and the spaces between them, covering the design, delivery, operation, and maintenance of artificial light within the City of London.

Over time, as new developments come forward that follow this guidance, the approach to lighting in the City will be transformed, making it a greener, safer and more attractive place to be for all its communities after dark.

 Following consultation undertaken by the City’s planning officers which included a series of public events and a night walking tour, the Planning and Transport Committee voted unanimously in favour of adopting the Lighting SPD, with public and stakeholder feedback also highly supportive.

The guidance, created in partnership with leading lighting design practice Speirs Major, asks developers to produce a high-level Lighting Strategy early on in the building design process which will help to achieve a more sustainable city.

Developers must also consider how lighting will complement surrounding architecture and heritage, as well as safety, accessibility and inclusion.

Included in the adopted guidance is a commitment to promote a ‘Considerate Lighting Charter’ for operators of already existing commercial buildings across the Square Mile. The City Corporation would encourage existing building owners, operators and occupiers to sign up to the charter and manage their lighting systems in ways that make a positive contribution to the City.

‘Our Climate Action Strategy makes us the first UK governing body to have a fully funded net zero commitment that covers all emissions,’  Planning and Transport Committee chairman Shravan Joshi told the Circular Lighting Report. ‘The Lighting SPD will make the City more characterful and a more attractive place to visit at night, celebrating its heritage but also delivering a sustainable response to urban lighting that takes into account energy efficiency, carbon reduction and making the City safer for all communities.’

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Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.