London Plan Chapter 5 2x1

Policy 5.2 Minimising Carbon Dioxide emissions

Policy

Planning decisions

A  Development proposals should make the fullest contribution to minimising carbon dioxide emissions in accordance with the following energy hierarchy:

  1. Be lean: use less energy
  2. Be clean: supply energy efficiently
  3. Be green: use renewable energy

B  The Mayor will work with boroughs and developers to ensure that major developments meet the following targets for carbon dioxide emissions reduction in buildings. These targets are expressed as minimum improvements over the Target Emission Rate (TER) outlined in the national Building Regulations leading to zero carbon residential buildings from 2016 and zero carbon non-domestic buildings from 2019.

Residential buildings:

Year

Improvement on 2010 Building Regulatons

2010 – 2013 25 per cent (Code for Sustainable 
2013 – 2016 40 per cent
2016 – 2031 Zero carbon

Non-domestic buildings:

Year

Improvement on 2010 Building Regulatons

2010 – 2013 25 per cent
2013 – 2016 40 per cent
2016 – 2019 As per building regulations requirements

C  Major development proposals should include a detailed energy assessment to demonstrate how the targets for carbon dioxide emissions reduction outlined above are to be met within the framework of the energy hierarchy.

 D  As a minimum, energy assessments should include the following details:

a  calculation of the energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions covered by Building Regulations and, separately, the energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions from any other part of the development, including plant or equipment, that are not covered by the Building Regulations (see paragraph 5.22) at each stage of the energy hierarchy

b  proposals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the energy efficient design of the site, buildings and services

c  proposals to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the use of decentralised energy where feasible,  such as district heating and cooling and combined heat and power (CHP)

d  proposals to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the use of on-site renewable energy technologies.

E  The carbon dioxide reduction targets should be met on-site. Where it is clearly demonstrated that the specific targets cannot be fully achieved on-site, any shortfall may be provided off-site or through a cash in lieu contribution to the relevant borough to be ring fenced to secure delivery of carbon dioxide savings elsewhere. 

Supporting text

5.16  Carbon dioxide emissions from new development should be reduced by sustainable use of energy in accordance with the Mayor’s energy hierarchy. The first step in the hierarchy, to reduce energy demand, should be met through adopting sustainable design principles outlined in Policy 5.3. The second step, to supply energy efficiently, should be met by prioritising decentralised energy, as outlined in Policies 5.5 and 5.6. The third step, to use renewable energy, is outlined in Policy 5.7.

5.17  Over time both the Mayor and the Government expect all new development will be zero carbon. The Government has expressed the aim that all new homes should be zero carbon by 2016 and new non-domestic buildings should be zero carbon by 2019. This will result in a significant step change in the national Building Regulations (Part L) in terms of the minimum improvements over the Target Emission Rate (TER)[1] for new development.

5.18  The targets set out in Policy 5.2 are minimum improvements over the TER for London as advances are made towards zero carbon development. This approach conforms to the Government’s Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH), which outlines targeted improvements, as individual code levels for residential buildings, towards the achievement of zero carbon housing.

5.19  The targets for 2010 to 2013 in Policy 5.2 are equivalent to the energy requirements for code level 4 of the CSH for residential buildings.  These targets are informed by the observed performance of new development since the London Plan was first published in 2004, and have been established as achievable and suitable for London. The GLA’s most recent monitoring information[2] shows that on average development proposals approved by the Mayor since September 2007 have achieved typical savings between of 30 and 40 per cent above Building Regulation requirements, with about a quarter of applications meeting or exceeding 40 per cent savings.

5.20  The targets outlined apply to all major development proposals. The highest level of carbon dioxide emissions reduction will be sought in every proposal, and the Mayor will actively encourage zero carbon development where appropriate. Overall carbon dioxide emissions reductions should reflect the context of each proposal, taking account of its size, nature, location, accessibility and expected operation. The targets will be used by the Mayor in the consideration of proposals that come before him for determination and to guide the development of proposals within opportunity and intensification areas as well as for monitoring purposes. They may also influence proposals falling within the ambit of the wider GLA Group. At borough level, the steeper trajectory towards meeting the Government’s target of zero carbon residential development by 2016 and non-domestic buildings by 2019 should be sought from major developments taking account of such factors as ease and practicability of connection to existing networks, context, size, nature, location, accessibility and expected operation.

5.21  Every major development proposal should be accompanied by an energy assessment demonstrating how the targets for carbon dioxide emissions reduction will be met within the framework of the energy hierarchy. Boroughs are also encouraged to require energy assessments for other development proposals where appropriate. Full details regarding how to prepare an energy assessment are outlined in Appendix D of the supplementary planning guidance on Sustainable Design and Construction.

5.22  Some developments (such as offices, industrial units and hospitals) have significant carbon dioxide emissions related to energy consumption from electrical equipment and portable appliances that are not accounted for in Building Regulations, and therefore are not included within the calculations for the Target Emissions Rate. The strategic aim is to reduce carbon emissions overall, so that while planning decisions and monitoring requirements will be underpinned by the targets expressed in Policy 5.2B, the requirement in Policy 5.2Da for energy assessments to include separate details of unregulated emissions is to recognise explicitly the additional contribution that can be made through use of efficient equipment, building controls and good management practices, including green leases.

5.22a  Demand side management is a further way developments can minimise their carbon dioxide emissions as well as minimise the need for additional generating and distribution infrastructure. Demand side management enables non-essential equipment to be turned off or to operate at a lower capacity to respond to the wider availability of energy in the network – that is, the wider energy demand and generation across the network. Developments are encouraged to include infrastructure to enable demand side management.

5.23  Where it is demonstrated that the specific targets for carbon dioxide emissions reduction cannot be fully achieved on-site the shortfall may be provided off-site, but only in cases where there is an alternative proposal identified and delivery is certain, or where funding can be pooled to support specific carbon dioxide reduction projects or programmes. Further guidance on the criteria for off-site provision, the types of acceptable projects and programmes and a London wide funding scheme will be set out for boroughs.

[1]  TER is the calculated target carbon dioxide emission rate for a development, expressed in kilograms of carbon dioxide per annum

[2]  London South Bank University. Review of the Impact of the energy policies in the London Plan on applications referred to the Mayor. GLA, 2009