Report of the Director of the Built Environment.
The Committee received a report of the Director of the Built Environment providing Members with an update on the Implementation of the City’s Innovative Lighting Strategy from 2018 that sought to deliver a holistic and co-ordinated approach to lighting the Square Mile.
Officers introduced the report by highlighting that it covered a number of issues such as street lighting for the public realm as well as lighting inside and outside of City buildings. It was reported that this was originally something that the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee had taken an interest in as they had been keen to understand what was being done in terms of lighting in the context of the Climate Action agenda and the target for achieving net zero for emissions in the Square Mile by 2040. The report set out enhancements to the Square Mile, the success in rolling out LED street lighting in the City and also the numbers in terms of energy and maintenance savings. Officers stated that the strategy had allowed them to ensure that they were delivering the right amount of light in the right places at the right time. They also pointed to the ability now, with modern technology, to be able to vary things such as lighting levels, timings and temperature. It had also provided the opportunity to look at localised issues and areas of crime and disorder and licensing hotspots that perhaps required additional lighting.
It was reported that a Member had corresponded with Officers prior to this meeting around the ability to adjust lighting levels to assist those such as running groups in the City after dark and, again, it was highlighted that new technology enabled Officers to address these matters much more easily.
With regard to lighting from buildings, it was highlighted that this was somewhat of an interim report as planning Officers were currently working on a planning advice note that would set out the best practice guidance for new developments. Officers reported that they were able to work with new developments as they came forward to look at reducing energy usage, ensuring that lighting was sustainable and complemented the public realm and that there were some good examples of this recently. It was highlighted, however, that some of the Officers powers were limited in terms of existing developments and that the Climate Action agenda would therefore prove useful in this respect around communicating the City’s ambitions and setting out expectations on a wider level.
A Member who had previously worked on the introduction of a Code of Practice for Office lighting reported that, at the time, there had been some scepticism that an unenforced Code of Practice may not work. Whilst building managers themselves tended to be enthusiastic about having office lights extinguished correctly every evening, many found that their powers were also limited in terms of enforcing these practices with their own tenants.
A Member expressed her support for a further evening walkaround for the Committee to take place in the Autumn.
RESOLVED – That Members note the progress and next steps outlined in the report.