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Carbon standards for residential and non residential developments

​On 1 October 2016 the Mayor of London applied a zero carbon standard to new residential developments.

Zero carbon standard for new residential developments

The housing supplementary planning guidance (SPG) defines ‘zero carbon’ homes as those which form part of major development applications, where the residential element of the application achieves at least a 35% reduction in regulated carbon dioxide emissions (beyond Part L 2013 Building Regulations) on site.

The remaining regulated carbon dioxide emissions, up to 100%, are offset through a cash-in-lieu contribution to the relevant borough, which will be ring-fenced to secure the delivery of carbon dioxide savings elsewhere (in line with policy 5.2E). The Greater London Authority (GLA) has found that an offset price of £60 per tonne of carbon dioxide is viable as a cash-in-lieu payment across London, whereas in Lewisham we have calculated its price per tonne to be £104. Although our price is higher, it is derived from a recent dedicated borough study.

What is meant by ‘major development’?

Major development is defined as:

  • for dwellings: where 10 or more are to be constructed (or if number is not given, area is more than 0.5 hectares)

  • for all other uses: where the floor space will be 1000 sq metres or more (or the site area is one hectare or more).

Non-residential development

For non-residential development, whilst policy 5.2B sets the building regulations as the target, part A of the policy seeks to minimise carbon dioxide emissions, and the GLA indicates that the 35% reduction is achievable.

Summary

The emission reduction targets applied to applications by the GLA are as follows:

Stage 1 schemes received by the Mayor of London on or after the 1 October 2016 – zero carbon (as defined in section 5.2 of the Housing SPG) for residential development, and 35% below Part L 2013 for non-residential development.

We will apply the new levels on applications that are received on or after 1 October 2016. This is consistent with the approach set out in Policy CS7 of our adopted core strategy to apply the London Plan policies on climate change, including those relating to energy efficiency. The position outlined above does not alter the existing requirements to meet the specified BREEAM standards within our adopted planning policies for non-residential development.