Framework for sustainability and energy in Camden planning applications

What is the framework for sustainability and energy in Camden planning applications?

These pages contain information which supports the guidance on sustainability statements in planning applications. Further details of planning policy in relation to sustainability and energy is set out on these pages.

In addition to this, Camden has declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency. The Council has adopted the Camden Climate Action Plan 2020-25, which includes a range of interventions to be implemented via the planning process in Camden.

These pages cover relevant policy and guidance documents for:

  • Sustainability and Energy (policy covering both)
  • Sustainability
  • Energy

Sustainability and energy policy

London Plan Chapters 8 and 9

The Publication London Plan December 2020 is the relevant regional planning policy. It includes:

  • policies G1 Green infrastructure, G3 Metropolitan Open Land, G5 Urban greening
  • policies SI 2 Minimising greenhouse gas emissions, SI 3 Energy infrastructure, SI 4 Managing heat risk, SI 5 Water infrastructure, SI 7 Reducing waste and supporting the circular economy

GLA Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG): Sustainable Design and Construction

Guidance from the Mayor of London on the London Plan 2016. Elements of the SPG still carry weight, where they are not superseded by the new London Plan and associated guidance. Includes guidance on regional climate change mitigation and climate adaptation policies.

Camden Neighbourhood Plans and Area Frameworks

Selected areas of Camden are subject to enhanced local policies or briefs, some of which may include specific local requirements relating to sustainability and energy.

Sustainability

Camden Local Plan Policy CC2 Adapting to Climate Change

Main planning policy. Includes requirements and encouragement to optimise sustainability of developments:

  • integration of sustainable construction principles
  • sustainability certifications
  • cooling hierarchy and overheating
  • water efficiency
  • green infrastructure

Camden Planning Guidance (CPG) Energy Efficiency and Adaptation
Provides advice and information on how we will apply our planning policies.

Camden Technical Guides
Practical guidance notes on the expected content and/or methodology for selected planning submissions. The guides are subject to updates; ensure you refer to the most recent version. ***To be published during 2021***

Energy

Camden Local Plan Policy CC1 Climate Change Mitigation
Main planning policy. Includes requirements and encouragement to minimise on and off-site CO2 emissions:

  • embodied emissions
  • passive design
  • efficient supply and distribution
  • renewable microgeneration
  • operational monitoring
  • improvements to existing buildings
  • resource efficiency

Camden Planning Guidance Energy Efficiency and Adaptation
Additional guidance on policy CC1.

GLA Energy Assessment Guidance
Most recent version of the Mayor of London’s planning guidance for major schemes. In Camden it is also expected to apply for medium scale and is encouraged for minor schemes.

GLA SAP10 worksheet
Carbon reduction calculations using SAP10 carbon factors should be supported with the completed GLA SAP10 spreadsheet

GLA Be Seen Guidance
Most recent version of the Mayor of London’s draft planning guidance for major schemes.

GLA Whole Life-Cycle Carbon Assessments Guidance
Most recent version of the Mayor of London’s draft planning guidance for major schemes.

GLA Circular Economy Statements Guidance
Most recent version of the Mayor of London’s draft planning guidance for major schemes.

Camden Decentralised Energy Networks
Further information on Camden’s networks.

Camden Technical Guides
Practical guidance notes on the expected content and/or methodology for selected planning submissions. The guides are subject to updates; ensure you refer to the most recent version. ***To be published during 2021***

Carbon offset for net zero carbon

What is the carbon offset rate for Net Zero Carbon in Camden?

From March 2021

The London Plan 2021 requires major developments to achieve zero carbon (with at least 35 per cent reduction achieved through on-site measures). New development is expected to get as close as possible to zero-carbon on-site, rather than relying on offset fund payments to make up any shortfall in emissions. 

The remaining carbon emissions (to 100 per cent) are to be offset through a cash in lieu contribution. For further information and guidance see Energy Planning - GLA Guidance. As set out in the London Plan 2021, the Council considers the nationally recognised non-traded price of £95 per tonne for 30 years to be appropriate.  This would equate to £2,850 per tonne.

From January 2020

The London Plan requires major developments to achieve zero carbon (with at least 35 per cent reduction achieved through on-site measures).

New development is expected to get as close as possible to zero-carbon on-site, rather than relying on offset fund payments to make up any shortfall in emissions.  The remaining carbon emissions (to 100 per cent) are to be offset through a cash in lieu contribution. For further information and guidance see Energy Planning - GLA Guidance.

In view of the Viability Study (pdf) undertaken for the New London Plan, the Council considers £95 per tonne for 30 years to be appropriate.  This would equate to £2,850 per tonne.

From October 2016 until December 2019

From October 2016 London Plan policy 5.2 requires major residential developments to achieve zero carbon (with at least 35 per cent reduction achieved through on-site measures).

The remaining regulated carbon emissions (to 100 per cent) are to be offset through a cash in lieu contribution. Major developments for non-domestic development will still be expected (as above) to achieve 35 per cent reduction against Part L 2013 Building Regulations.   

In view of the Viability Assessment undertaken for the Minor Alterations London Plan the Council considers £1,800 per tonne of carbon (30 years) to be appropriate (both residential and non-residential development). The viability assessment can be viewed under the heading ‘Evidence base’ here.

Up to October 2016

London Plan policy 5.2 requires that major developments meet carbon dioxide emissions reduction. From 2013 to 2016 this emissions reduction is 35 per cent against Part L 2013 Building Regulations for both domestic and non-domestic buildings. Where evidence demonstrates that this target cannot be achieved on-site, the policy allows for any shortfall to be provided off-site or through a cash in lieu contribution. Contributions will secure the delivery of carbon dioxide savings elsewhere in the borough.

The Mayor’s Sustainable Design and Construction SPD states that boroughs should develop and publish a price for carbon dioxide based on either: a nationally recognised carbon dioxide pricing mechanism; or the cost of reducing carbon dioxide emissions across the borough.

The Mayor’s guidance states that where boroughs do not have an established price a figure of £60 per tonne for a period of 30 years should be applied. However, the August 2013 zero carbon consultation suggested three possible price caps for carbon £30, £60 and £90.

Camden’s inner London landscape will make it more challenging and expensive to deliver carbon reduction measures, and therefore we would expect that the highest price of £90 per tonne is appropriate for this target. This will equate to £2,700 per tonne of carbon (30 years).