Will Commercial Developments carry the cost of the removal of CSH?

Development projects in London are poised to become more expensive to deliver should the proposals in a new GLA consultation be adopted following the removal of the CSH.

On Wednesday 25th March 2015 a Written Ministerial Statement was issued which sets out the conclusions to the government’s Housing Standards Review. The Statement  was timed to coincide with completion of the passage through Parliament of the Deregulation Bill 2015 which has received Royal Assent. This essentially removed the need for any residential development seeking planning permission to meet any CSH level, although legacy assessments can be completed. Read our review .

Whilst the statement made it clear that energy performance should only be set to meet Building Regulations there was still support for renewable energy and communal heating in new developments. It also made it clear that BREEAM was still to be applied for non-residential developments.

What has happened in London – and potentially this will ripple through to other local authorities outside the capital – through the GLA consultation on the Housing Standards Minor Alterations to the London Plan (MALP) is for non-domestic projects to have to meet tougher targets from 2016 (a 50% emissions reduction from 2016-2019).

Using a recent example and the GLA recommended carbon abatement cost this would result in a 3,500sqm commercial development being required to pay at least £80,000.

We will have to wait and see how the MALP progresses but based on the desire of the GLA to have funds to pay for district heat networks across the capital then it’s likely that commercial developers will be asked to pick up an addition ‘carbon tax’; this is something that would have been picked up by the current house building programme. Read our in-depth review.