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Tag Archives: Planning
April 2013: Thames Water recently submitted its 50,000 page (!) planning application for the development of the Thames Tideway Tunnel. It’s not surprisingly a big project …requiring the construction of a 15 mile tunnel to run 75 metres beneath the Thames riverbed through central London and would capture storm sewage from overflow points along the river. An online video on the project’s website can be viewed here.
The Tunnel has been designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) and as such its application must be submitted to the National Infrastructure Planning Inspectorate. And it is on their website that an Energy and Carbon Footprint Report for the project can be found ( here – and directly downloadable here).
This report sets out an energy and carbon footprint assessment for the Thames Tideway Tunnel considering the CO2 equivalent emissions (CO2e) for both the construction and operation of the tunnel. The results are presented within Section 5 of the report, which provides details on the CO2e associated with construction materials, transport and logistics, worksite construction activities and operational energy demand. The assumptions which underpin the assessment, and the raw data which informs it, is also provided within the appendices of the report.
The report sets out that “the total carbon footprint, in the decarbonised scenario, of some 840,000 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)the principal impact from the project is the GHG emissions caused by construction of the infrastructure, in particular embodied carbon in materials, being approximately 84% of the total emissions, with emissions from construction plant and machinery (construction worksite activities eg tunnel boring and emissions from plant and machinery) being around 10%of the total emissions. Emissions during the 120 year operational life of the tunnel represent approximately 2.5% of the total GHG emissions. The transport of excavated material and construction materials represents approximately 3.5% of the total carbon footprint of the project.” Much is placed on overall future electricity grid decarbonisation to help reduce the CO2 footprint of the project.
April 2013: Haringey fully adopted a new and very useful Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) on Sustainable Design and Construction last month. It’s stated that the “document will be considered in determining planning applications. It does not create new policy, but complements the Local Plan and brings together policy requirements and guidance from national, regional and local planning framework that promote sustainable buildings.” The SPD can be downloaded here.
Two sections are of particular interest. Section 3: Energy & Carbon – and Section 4: Changing Climate – the latter focused on relevant adaptation issues. Section 3 mentions the following:
“The Upper Lee Valley is one of London’s most exciting areas of change and the opportunity for an alternative energy supply in the area is unique. The core idea of the strategic decentralised energy network here is to capture low-carbon heat from waste-to-energy facilities in the Edmonton area of the Lee Valley and supply the heat to existing businesses and residential customers as well as to new developments.”
The appendices document provides further information on energy requirements related to planning applications to the borough.
April 2013: One of the many interesting things being developed by Islington – as set out in their recently launched Energy Strategy 2013-2016 – is the creation of a new ‘Carbon Offset Fund’. The Energy Strategy sets out that:
“A Carbon offset policy will be implemented in 2013 which will generate funding for investment in energy efficiency of existing social housing. As part of the Energy Statement building applicants will need to demonstrate how a scheme meets the relevant on site carbon emissions reduction targets by following the energy hierarchy:
- Maximise energy efficiency
- Supply energy efficiently using low carbon heating and cooling systems
- Incorporate renewable energy
- Offset remaining carbon emissions.
The council will look to use the carbon offset fund to mitigate emissions from existing stock by targeting specific projects that lower carbon emissions such as cavity wall and solid wall insulation , boiler replacements, improvements to communal heating systems and decentralised energy project work. In relation to DE, the energy strategy states that Islington has identified 14 heat network opportunities across the borough, which it intends to implement between 2013 and 2018. The total cost is estimated to be £42M with a funding gap of £20M expected to be filled by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Islington’s recently adopted Environmental Design Supplementary Planning document (SPD) highlights (para2.02) that “implementation of the carbon offset mechanism (part of policy CS10) will generate significant funding for investment in the energy efficiency of housing, including existing social housing – given that around 75% of the current building stock is likely to be still standing in 2050, this mechanism will be crucial to addressing fuel poverty.”
Importantly , the SPD sets out the offset costs:
“ For all major developments the financial contribution shall be calculated based on an established price per tonne of CO2 for Islington. The price per annual tonne of carbon is currently set at £920, based on analysis of the costs and carbon savings of retrofit measure suitable for properties in Islington. The calculation of the amount of CO2 to be offset,and the resulting financial contribution, shall be specified in the submitted Energy Statement. The spending of carbon offset payments and monitoring of CO2 savings delivered will be managed by the council.”
Minor developments are to be treated differently: “As minor schemes are not required to produce Energy Statements to the same level of detail as major developments the process for carbon offsetting has been simplified. The cost of the offset contribution is a flat fee based on the development type as follows: Houses – £1500 per house; Flats – £1000 per flat. “
The rationale behind these cost charges is set out in some research undertaken for Islington – see AECOM Davis Langdon report Promoting Zero Carbon
April 2013: The Mayor and Southwark Council have recently given final planning permission to the development of the Heygate Estate in Elephant and Castle which, as the following GLA press release states, will see the “23 acre site demolished and redeveloped delivering up to 2,469 new homes, a quarter of which will be affordable, as well as new shops, offices, leisure and community facilities and a park.”
As one of the largest regeneration projects in the country, there’s been considerable focus on the development – including the energy strategy for the project (details on previous posts here and here). The final energy assessment report for the development (and updated addendum) can be accessed at Southwark’s Planning website (and directly here Strategy, Addendum).
A site-wide district heating network is being proposed connecting all apartments and commercial units supplied from a single energy centre. The energy centre building would also include an education centre and cafe. Which is nice…
Further information is contained in the Mayor’s Planning report on the application – paras 210 onward highlighting that:
- A potential to link the heat network to the proposed SELCHP district heating network, in Bermondsey has been explored. This is unlikely to be viable in the near term. The applicant has committed to designing the energy infrastructure to allow future connection to SELCHP should it prove viable at a later stage.
- A phased installation of combined heat and power (CHP) is being proposed in line with the phasing of the development. This would begin with a 263 kWe gas fired CHP unit being switched on during 2019. This would then be followed by a 985 kWe gas fired CHP unit being switched on in 2021 as the lead heat source for the site heat network.
- The preferred renewable energy strategy for the site is to use biomethane fuel supplied over the gas network. This renewable fuel would be produced and injected into the national grid elsewhere and then purchased as a credit to supply some or all of the gas consumption requirements of the CHP plant and gas boilers in the energy centre.
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.”
February 2013: “The London Plan sets out a range of energy policies which developers are required to comply with. As well as setting CO2 reduction targets for new developments, these policies support the implementation of the Mayor’s energy hierarchy: 1) using less energy; 2) supplying energy efficiently; and 3) renewable energy. Whilst the core benefits from the implementation of these policies, for example carbon dioxide savings, are routinely monitored, the economic benefits arising from implementing these policies is not quantified.”
The Mayor is therefore commissioning work to “to estimate the projected investment and number of jobs that result from completed developments which obtained planning permission from the Mayor. The job and investment projections will be informed by collecting data from a number of approved planning applications and completed developments (e.g. via site visits) to determine the costs of implementing specific measures.” Full details on the project approval document here.
January 2013: Solid Wall Insulation’s (SWI) time has finally come and it is now the key technology to be supported in the Government’s annual £1.3 billion ECO domestic energy efficiency programme (which came into operation at the beginning of this year). However, a significant barrier to the roll out of SWI was potential planning difficulties householders could face when wishing to retrofit their homes with SWI.
So it was good to see a tweet from DECC Minister Greg Barker last week announcing that the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) – which sets the policy for planning – had issued new guidance which allows SWI to be fitted without planning approval.
No DECC or DCLG news release was issued, and it was left to BusinessGreen to explain the change. “The formal clarification confirms solid wall insulation – which is commonly fitted to the exterior of a building, potentially changing the look of a property – is classified as a “permitted development”, meaning property owners can undertake the work without specific planning permission.
“Listed buildings and properties in conservation areas will remain an exception to the rule and would require specific planning permission, but Barker predicted that planning issues would “not present a problem for the vast majority of people intending to put solid wall insulation on their houses”.
The clarification is made in the following Technical Guidance issued on the government’s planning portal website ‘Permitted development for householders‘ and the wording in the document which marks such a major change for the insulation industry is remarkably succinct:
“The installation of solid wall insulation constitutes an improvement rather than an enlargement or extension to the dwellinghouse [sic] and is not caught by the provisions of d(i) and d(ii).” [p13]
where d(i) to d(ii) set out limits and conditions to permitted development rights to the enlargement, improvement or other alteration of a house.
There is now a lot of activity around rolling out SWI in London including:
- a recently commissioned project by the GLA on the Green Deal which, along with other key issues, will also be looking at barriers to the uptake of SWI in London.
- Camden issued specific energy efficiency planning guidance for Dartmouth Park which specifically considers SWI – this is the first such suplementary planning guidance issued on SWI anywhere in the country
- Think tank Future of London issued a useful report earlier this year on planning issues related to the Green Deal in London, including SWI
- And a technology assessment paper by DECC on SWI has also been recently published, which mentioned the following issue in relation to London:
“A leading SWI installer recognised that in London there was no supplier stocking the full range of SWI materials required for jobs. Consequently, firms involved in one-off SWI jobs found it virtually impossible to source products at competitive rates. As a large contractor, the firm has worked hard to bulk purchase equipment for itself. Needing a warehouse for its own operations, it decided that it could help supply the sector at the same time.”
There’s still some way to go for SWI to make its impact in London. Even with permitted development rights, planning permission will be required in conservation areas and, as the Future of London report points out – there are around 600,000 homes in conservation areas in London, roughly half the national total and around 60 per cent of all homes in the capital are solid wall.
The top link to the site sets out some current concerns over the energy proposals on the site, especially in relation to connecting the different energy centres on site (which would hep form a more efficient area-wide heat network), and also the likelihood of using biomethane gas (the proposal in the developers application is to use the Green Gas Certification Scheme to link the London scheme to a site which is injecting biomethane elsewhere in the national gas transmission grid). The blog entry states that no such injection schemes are currently operating, which was true at the time of writing (early November 2012) but, coincidentally, the Poundbury anaerobic digestion (AD) in Dorset began operation just over a week ago (see here and here) and is injecting renewable gas generated from the AD into the gas grid.
November 2012: In addition to a supporting 25 decentralised energy projects in the capital, London boroughs are also working on some innovative projects to support the uptake of district heating.
Two recent projects worth mentioning are Newham’s work on establishing special planning guidance – a Local Development Order (LDO) to help streamline the process for a proposed new heat network running ” predominately along public highway from Beckton to Royal Docks, Canning Town and Custom House, West Ham and Stratford, including a short length of the Greenway between Manor Road and Stratford High Street.” Further information on the LDO project is on Newham’s website here; in a report to the council here; and in a Newham Council meeting paper here.
Southwark council have also been working on developing a contract with the SELCHP waste to energy plant to offtake heat from the plant which will be supplied to a number of estates (further information on this project in an earlier post here). Details of the contract can be viewed in council papers here.
November 2012: Camden have issued further information on a new Camden Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and are asking for views on a preliminary draft charging schedule. The consultation sets out that “The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new charge that local authorities will be able to collect on new developments in their area. It is based on a formula relating to the type and size of development and is collected when planning permissions for new developments are implemented. The funds gathered will be spent on infrastructure within Camden such as schools, community facilities, highways improvements and many other forms of provision which are currently funded by monies paid by developers under Section 106 obligations.”
As part of the evidence base required for setting the CIL, Camden have commissioned an infrastructure study examining key utilities required in the borough over the coming decades. This study includes energy infrastructure, with page 47 onwards setting out a useful summary of some key sustainable energy issues for Camden:
“LB Camden recognises that it needs to play its part in supporting London’s drive towards a lower carbon energy supply. Consultation with the Council has indicated that three areas within the borough could form the focal points for public investment – Euston/KingsCross; Bloomsbury/Tottenham Court Road; and Gospel Oak – with a figure of £1 million for each area (£3m in total) being considered appropriate to help lever in further private investment. To date £3.8 million has been secured from the Francis Crick Institute (national medical research centre next to St Pancras station), although the further £1 million identified through consultation with the council will still be needed to address linking up other major development sites in the Euston/Kings Cross area.”
Appendix A of the report provides some further information. The consultation runs from 8 Nov 2012 to 20 Dec 2012. Further information on decentralised energy opportunities are set out in Camden’s Heat Map (scroll to the bottom of page).
October 2012: This month the Mayor has been asked questions in relation to:
a London-specific target under the Government’s forthcoming Energy Company Obligation (ECO) programme; progressing in achieving the Mayor’s Hydrogen Powered Vehicles strategy; the provision of energy efficiency support to SMEs in London; work being undertaken under the Mayor’s Decentralised Energy Project Delivery Unit; support for Cooperative Renewable Energy projects; how London will benefit under Energy Company Obligation (ECO); a list of all current Decentralised Energy projects supported; the roll out of the Green Deal in London; work to support the support the non-domestic Green Deal programme in London; the scale of the Mayor’s Green Deal programme in London; Guidance on low carbon cooling systems; low/zero carbon measures secured through the GLA’s planning process; GLA review of the potential for low and zero carbon microgeneration technologies; future carbon emissions related to new infrastructure projects; work by the GLA with ICLEI, C40 and Eurocities on climate mitigation and adapation; and update on Low Carbon Skills Forum; planned budgets for future carbon mitigation programmes; carbon savings achieved by the Mayor’s programmes; the success of the Feed in Tariff (FIT) programme in London; an update on the London Thames Gateway Heat Network; the publication date of the Mayor’s Technical Guide for District Heating; and progress on the development of district heating commercial templates and a London Heat Charter. Planning guidance on sustainable design and construction; progress under the RE:FIT programme; targets under the RE:NEW 2 programme; annual progress report on the Mayor’s climate programme; an update on the London greenhouse gas inventory (LEGGI). Publication of the London Environment Strategy (see here for the answer referred to); the number of Solid Wall Insulation companies in London; Mayoral action on tackling Fuel Poverty; energy efficiency of new homes in the Olympic park; proposal for a zero carbon development around the Olympic site; energy consumption of superfast broadband; and future plans for Edmonton incinerator.
A series of questions (below) were asked in relation to RE:NEW – all of which were directed to a question asked earlier this year pointing to the November 2012 publication of the evaluation of the RE:NEW programme.
How many pensioner households treated under the RE:NEW programme; number of solid wall homes treated under RE:NEW; fuel poor households treated under RE:NEW; flats treatedunder RE:NEW; private rented homes treated under RE:NEW; the number of solid wall installations undertaken under RE:NEW; the number of cavity wall insulation installations undertaken under RE:NEW; the number of loft insulation installations under RE:NEW; the number of benefit checks undertaken through RE:NEW; and how RE:NEW has helped drive up the CERT and Warm Front programmes in London.
Previous questions to the Mayor can be found here.
October 2012: BusinessGreen article highlighting that “Green groups have today warned that planning reforms that the government predicts will encourage billions of pounds of new investment in energy projects “totally ignore climate change”.
The new Growth and Infrastructure Bill, published yesterday, brings together a range of measures intended to give energy and building companies the confidence to invest and boost economic growth
It includes provisions to make it easier for utilities to change designs mid-project to incorporate new energy-efficiency technology with out having to restart the planning process…” Read the full story here.
The Department for Communities press release can be viewed here and a background note to the Bill can be downloaded here and the actual bill here. Friends of the Earth have issued the following news release.