Agenda item

City of London Lighting Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)

Report of the Executive Director, Environment.


The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Environment presenting a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) that provided guidance for developers on lighting buildings and the spaces between them.


Officers introduced the report by stating that it presented a draft lighting SPD and requested that the Committee approve this for public consultation. Members were reminded that, in October 2018, the Court of Common Council had resolved to adopt the Corporation’s Lighting Strategy which sought to provide a holistic approach to lighting, including improving the quality, efficiency and sustainability of lighting in the City. The Strategy included a commitment to publish detailed planning guidance as to the use of lighting to support and enhance the implementation of planning policy. This SPD had therefore been prepared to meet this objective. The document provided guidance and technical requirements for new development that developers should comply with and covered design, delivery, operation and maintenance of artificial light within the City. It was reported that the document had been prepared with lighting consultants Speirs Major Light Architect and input from officers across the Corporation. The Port Health and Environmental Services Committee had also been presented with the document last month for information. It was underlined that a number of helpful suggestions had also been made by Members and that these had also been taken into account where possible  


Members were informed that the document covered guidance for the planning process – everything from pre-application stage to post permission. Technical guidance was also included alongside more general lighting guidance. Finally, appended to the document was the Considerate Lighting Charter for existing building owners, operators and occupiers to adopt. This Charter was understood to be the first of its kind in the UK in terms of a voluntary commitment for lighting and it as intended that this would be promoted through appropriate channels including through the BIDs. If approved by this Committee, extensive and comprehensive external consultation would take place with residents, businesses and industry professionals and other key stakeholders. The public consultation was proposed for at least 6 weeks during December 2022 and January 2023.


The Chairman congratulated Officers on this work and the groundbreaking document presented here.


Another Member echoed thanks to Officers for this comprehensive piece of work. She stated that the document appeared to be anti the use of coloured lighting and questioned whether this was intentional. She pointed out that this could be quite attractive when done well. Officers stated that creative and coloured lighting was generally resisted but should be utilised where appropriate and where it might make creative sense and make a positive contribution within the City. A principle had now been added on this within the public realm topic stating that small scale creative lighting had the potential to create welcoming routes and improve sense of place and should be employed where appropriate. It was envisaged that this point would also be explored further as part of the consultation process.


A Member suggested that refence also be made to the desirability of warm colour temperatures and soft lighting for health benefits within the document. Officers confirmed that this was something that had informed the original lighting strategy as well as this document and it was well recognised that use of warmer lighting had a much better impact in terms of people’s sleep patterns. They added that specific reference to this could be added to the document as this was taken through consultation.


Another Member spoke simply to congratulate Officers on this work in which he could clearly see the views of Members reflected.


RESOLVED – That the Planning and Transportation Committee approve the draft Lighting SPD attached at Appendix 1 for a public consultation exercise.

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