London Plan and Zero Carbon Homes

As outlined in London’s Housing SPG, from October 2016 the zero carbon standard will apply to new major residential development projects.


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.

The GLA’s energy planning guidance provides a definition of what zero carbon homes are. It states that ‘Zero carbon’ homes are homes forming part of major development applications where the residential element of the application achieves at least a 35 per cent reduction in regulated carbon dioxide emissions (beyond Part L 2013) on-site. The remaining regulated carbon dioxide emissions, to 100 per cent, are to be off-set through a cash in lieu contribution to the relevant borough to be ring fenced to secure delivery of carbon dioxide savings elsewhere (in line with policy 5.2E).

The current carbon price is £60/tonne CO2 and with a building lifetime of 30 year a contribution of £1,800 power tonne is likely to be required by London’s LPAs. Looking at a few of our recent projects this can amount to between £5,000 and £9,000 per unit and makes the careful consideration of minimising the carbon emissions even beyond the 35% improvement well worth the effort before a planning application is submitted.

Feel free to contact us and discuss how we can assist your projects with getting the right energy strategy in place.