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The four lampposts in Covent Garden were installed in 1910 to mark the beginning of King George V’s reign.

London Gasketeers told BBC London the decision set a precedent for other at-risk gas lamps in Westminster.

It comes after a move by Westminster Council to convert 275 gas lamps to LEDs, before it said it would now only convert 94 non-listed gas lamps.

London Gasketeers, who campaign for the protection of historic working gas lamps in Westminster, said the listing of the gas lamps in Russell Street provided a model for protecting the remaining non-listed lamps.

Tim Bryars told BBC London: “This is a major milestone today because listing these four gas lamps is a presumption that others should be listed.

“That’s what’s so exciting.”

Listing status recognises the gas lamps’ architectural and historic significance, as well as bringing it under the consideration of the planning system.

‘Completely revolutionised living’

“Once something is listed you can’t just go and chop and change, you have to go to Historic England and say ‘this is what we want to do and we’ve got a good reason why’,” Mr Bryars explained.

Talking about the ambience of the lamps, he said: “It’s something which began here and completely revolutionised living. We’re very keen on the fact people go out and experience the actual light thrown out by these lamps, which you can’t replicate with modern technology.”

Historic England, which makes recommendations for listing to the secretary of state for culture, media and sport – who then makes a final decision – said more listings of gas lamps were likely to follow.

London Gasketeers said they had made dozens of listing applications to Historic England, of which the Russell Street lamps were the first to be approved, and the first to be approved in Westminster in 40 years.

The listings have been backed by Nickie Aiken, MP for Cities of London and Westminster, who said she was pleased campaigners and local people had been listened to over the “much-loved gas lamps”.

Man at gas lamp
Image caption,The lamps are part of a collection to mark the start of King George V’s reign

Westminster Council said it was pleased the four lamps had been granted listed status and it was committed to preserving the city’s heritage.

Last month councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, cabinet member for city management and air quality, told the Daily Mail: “We are waiting for the results of Historic England’s inspections of our unlisted gas lamps and, depending on their recommendations, we will only consider installing replacement lamps that meet the highest possible standards of historical authenticity.”

The council previously said personal safety was a concern when there were long delays to repair gas lights.

Gas-powered street lamps began in London, with the first recorded worldwide being in Pall Mall in 1807, according to Historic England.

The body says today about 1,300 working gas lamps remain in London. About 270 of those are in Westminster, with about half listed.

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