Lord's has been handed a boost ahead of the 2020 season, after Westminster City Council approved an application to make the floodlights at the ground permanent and increase the number of evenings that they are permitted to be used on from 10 to 18.
If the application had been rejected, the MCC would have faced a tricky situation with regards to hosting games next year. Lord's is scheduled to host at least four matchdays in the Hundred, including a double-header, on top of several Middlesex games, a day-night ODI against Australia, and Tests featuring West Indies and Pakistan. Under previous regulations, there had been an additional allowance for years in which the ground hosted ICC events, like it did in 2019.
The ground has regularly fallen foul of complaints from local residents over the use of floodlights since 2007, when temporary ones were first installed. The St. John's Wood Society complained about the use of retractable floodlights during the World T20 in 2009, and residents have regularly submitted objections whenever new applications have been up for discussion.
Six residents put forward objections to the application submitted by the MCC in May, citing "antisocial behaviour" from "extremely rowdy crowds many of whom have consumed large quantities of alcohol", "disruption to sleep" and "loss of privacy" among their concerns. But the council accepted the application, on the provision that the ground put in place six extra stewards to move fans away from the ground as quickly as possible.
Robert Ebdon, the MCC's assistant secretary for estates and ground development, said the council's ruling was an "excellent outcome for MCC, and the spectators and cricketers who will visit Lord's in the future".
"We are thankful for the co-operative and constructive relationship we have with our neighbours, and Westminster City Council who have supported this result," he said. "It is a positive outcome for the future generations that will come to Lord's to watch and play cricket."
The decision comes as part of the continued redevelopment of the ground, with the Compton and Edrich stands currently under renovation in the hope of completion before the start of the 2020 season.