February 2013: Following a consultation last Summer, a Croydon Town Centre Opportunity Area Planning Framework (OAPF) has just been adopted by the Mayor, Croydon Council and TfL. OAPFs set out planning, regeneration and design guidance for major growth centres in London, called Opportunity Areas. The London Plan identifies 33 Opportunity Areas one of which is the Croydon Metropolitan Centre and its environs.
Included within the OAPF are considerations of future energy requirements within the area. Chapter 4 of the document sets out the following:
“4.68 Delivery of a Croydon Central Area Heat and Power Scheme is an objective of the Croydon Council climate change strategy. In order to achieve a major reduction in the Borough’s carbon footprint, and meet the Mayor’s decentralised energy target, the Core Strategy (Policy CS6) expects that larger developments and refurbishments should be enabled to connect to district energy networks based on centralised combined heat and power plants (CHP), particularly in the COA and other district centres within the borough.
4.69 Croydon Council has undertaken a detailed study on the viability of delivering a district heating network to support the regeneration of the COA. The scheme would provide low carbon heat to new developments which would enable them to meet the energy performance standards required by planning policy and national Building Regulations. Existing buildings would also be able to connect to the scheme to benefit from the lower carbon heat. Some key features are:
• A centralised “energy centre” fuelled by gas fired Combined Heat & Power plant
• This heat is distributed across the COA as hotwater in a network of buried pipes
• The electricity generated could be sold for use in near by buildings with the excess being exported to the public supply grid
• The scheme would be financed, designed, builtand operated by a commercial partner
• Cost of connecting to the scheme would be lower than making on-site heat provision
• Cost of heat to building users will be less than alternative on-site provision of heat (e.g. having own boiler system and paying for heat)
• Wandle Road car park has been identified asa potential location for the energy centre butfurther feasibility work is required to assess thisoption in more detail
4.70 It is envisaged that the first phase of the scheme would connect to new developments in mid Croydon and East Croydon, along with a core of existing public buildings. The full potential would expand to buildings across the wider COA area. The council will be working with the GLA “Decentralised Energy Project Delivery Unit” to configure the scheme so that it would be commercially attractive to the energy services market. This work is currently ongoing. As and when new development comes forward it will be expected to help deliver and connect into such a district heating system, if feasible.”