City of London Corporation formally adopts pioneering new lighting guidance to meet net zero ambition

The City of London Corporation Planning and Transportation Committee has today (18 July) agreed to adopt a ground-breaking new initiative, that will require developers to submit detailed plans to minimise light pollution, at the early stages of their planning applications.


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. 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 extensive 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 favor of adopting the Lighting SPD, with public and stakeholder feedback also highly supportive.


The guidance, created in partnership with Light Architecture specialists 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.


Chairman 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.”