Sustainable Design and Construction

This page outlines the key principles of sustainable design and construction which we expect all applicants to follow.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Zero Carbon Standards

Major residential schemes

From October 2016 zero carbon standards apply to all new major residential development (10 or more housing units) in line with London Plan policy 5.2. This means that at least 35% of regulated CO2 emission reductions (against a Building Regulations Part L (2013) baseline) must be achieved on-site, with the remaining emissions, up to 100%, to be offset through a contribution to the Council’s Carbon Offset fund.

The price of carbon is £60/tonne over 30 years in line with the MALP viability evidence. Further detail can be found in the Cabinet Member Decision.

Smaller residential and major non-residential schemes

Smaller residential schemes (below 10 units) and major non-residential schemes must achieve a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions (regulated) against a Building Regulations Part L (2013) baseline. If this is not technically feasible and therefore cannot be achieved using on-site measures then applicants will need to demonstrate and justify this as part of a planning application. A cash in lieu contribution to the Council’s Carbon Offset fund will be sought in cases where it is not technically feasible.

Sustainable Construction Checklist

The Sustainable Construction Checklist Supplementary Planning Document(pdf, 788KB) (last updated in January 2016) describes the key principles of sustainable design and construction which we expect all applicants to follow. It forms a mandatory part of the planning application for the following classes of development:

  • All new residential development providing 1 or more new dwellings, including conversions and extensions that create one or more new dwellings
  • All new non-residential development providing 100m2 or more floor area, including extensions over 100m2

Other classes of development, which require planning permission but do not fit into the above categories, specifically including conversions or extensions of residential or non-residential development, are encouraged to comply with the Checklist as far as possible.

The Checklist SPD consists of the following:

Code for Sustainable Homes Legacy Cases

The Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) was withdrawn by Government in March 2015 as part of the Housing Standards Review, aside from the management of legacy cases. Where existing conditions relating to Code for Sustainable Homes have not been discharged yet, applicants may apply to have the existing condition removed, as per section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Water efficiency standards in new homes

The Council has adopted the national Building Regulations ‘higher standard’ for water consumption of 110 litres per person per day (including an allowance of 5 litres or less per person per day for external water consumption). All new residential developments including conversions, reversions, change of use and extensions that create one or more new dwellings must meet this target.

Non-residential development

Non-residential buildings over 100sqm will be required to meet BREEAM ‘Excellent’ standard. DMP Policy DM SD 1 and Core Strategy Policy CP1 continue to apply.

Conversions - BREEAM domestic refurbishment

DMP Policy DM SD 3 and Core Strategy Policy CP1

For conversions, Core Strategy Policy CP1 continues to apply; note that the reference to ‘EcoHomes ‘excellent’ (for conversions) was superseded by the BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment scheme in 2012. Therefore, as BREEAM ratings were unaffected by the Government Housing Standards Review changes, conversions (where relevant) are expected to meet BREEAM Domestic Refurbishment ‘excellent’ rating.

Information for applicants

Planning applicants and developers who are preparing Energy Assessments should refer to and use the Greater London Authority guidance on preparing energy assessments (March 2016) as this reflects the recent changes to Part L Building Regulations.

Applicants may also wish to look at the following:

The following documents provide detailed guidance on how sustainable design and construction can be applied when building a small extension or carrying out other external alteration works to your home. This guidance may also be helpful if you are considering making improvements or retrofitting your existing property:


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Updated: 29 June 2017