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City of London Corporation Adopts New Net-Zero Light Pollution Guidance

City of London Corporation Adopts New Net-Zero Light Pollution Guidance
18 July 2023

The City of London Corporation Planning and Transportation Committee will formally implement requirements that restrict how buildings are lit in the Square Mile.

Developers will be required to submit detailed plans to minimise light pollution, at the early stages of their planning applications.


The Lighting Supplementary Planning Document


Following a planning consultation which sought comments from developers, building owners, residents, workers and visitors, the Planning and Transport Committee voted unanimously in favour of adopting the Lighting Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).

The “Lighting 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.

The guidance, created in partnership with Spiers 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.

According to Buglife’s light pollution campaign, most of the earth is affected by light pollution. 80 per cent of the world’s population live under skyglow and almost everyone in the UK cannot experience a natural night sky from where they live.

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. This scheme aims to reduce the impact of artificial light on residents and help the City Corporation reach its target of achieving carbon net-zero for the Square Mile as a whole.

Chair of the City of London Corporation Planning and Transport Committee, Shravan Joshi, said: “Our Climate Action Strategy makes us the first UK governing body to have a fully funded net-zero commitment that covers all emissions.   

“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.”

Picture: a photograph of London at night, showing the tops of buildings. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 18 July 2023


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