The London Plan currently stipulates carbon dioxide reduction targets of 25% over 2010 Building Regulations and from 2013 this will increase to 40%. Other Local Planning Authorities insist on compliance with varying levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes and BREEAM assessments, and many more follow where London leads.
A good number of developers are likely to have concerns about meeting these targets. For example; in smaller developments that have limited potential to connect to existing or future decentralised energy networks; sites with significant constraints such as high flood risk; sites within a conservation area; and sites where a listed building is involved.
However, where a scheme can demonstrate it is not technically or economically viable then this may also be taken into account. For example, a site that can demonstrate that carbon dioxide emission reduction targets cannot be fully achieved on-site may be allowed make-up for any shortfall off-site or through a cash in lieu contribution to the relevant borough. This would be used to deliver carbon savings elsewhere, which could include implementation of energy efficiency measures in neighbouring areas and/or helping to establish and enhance decentralised energy systems.