Since 1October 2016, London Plan policy 5.2 has required any new homes forming part of major developments to be zero carbon. Further guidance on this zero carbon standard is set out in the Mayor’s Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) published in March 2016 and the GLA’s guidance on Energy Planning.
To achieve the zero carbon home standard set by the Mayor, the residential element of all major schemes proposed in the borough should achieve a minimum 35 percent reduction of regulated carbon emissions on-site, and offset all remaining carbon emissions up to 100 percent. On-site reductions in carbon emissions can be achieved in a number of ways, for example by maximising energy efficiency, using decentralised energy networks or through the use of on-site renewable energy technologies.
However, where it is demonstrated that a 100 percent reduction in emissions cannot be achieved on-site, the council has established a carbon offset fund for cash in lieu contributions from developers to meet the standard off-site. The offset monies received will then be spent on carbon offsetting projects around the borough to achieve carbon savings.
To accord with the requirements of the London Plan, from the 1 April 2017, the council will fully implement the zero carbon standard through the creation of a Carbon Offset Fund. New proposals will be assessed against this standard using information provided in their energy assessment (see the Mayor’s Energy Planning guidance for further information). The council’s carbon offset price is £1,800 per tonne of carbon.
Where an energy assessment demonstrates that the carbon savings required cannot be delivered on-site, the annual remaining regulated carbon emissions figure will be multiplied by the carbon offset price to determine the required cash in lieu contribution. These contributions will be secured through Section 106 agreements.
Further details on the implementation of Carbon Offset Fund can be found on the council’s Climate Change webpages.