The London Plan is the statutory spatial development strategy for the Greater London area in the United Kingdom that is written by the Mayor of London and published by the Greater London Authority. Although each borough council within London will have their own planning requirements, councils such as Brent will generally ask for any new major developments* to be in line with the London Plan.

Although the London Plan gives a wide range of guidance on a number of subjects such as the places, people and economy of London; what is of the most importance to sustainability consultants like ourselves and building developers seeking planning approval in Brent is chapter 5 ‘London’s Response to Climate Change’.

Policy 5.2 of the London Plan seeks to minimise the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from major developments. To do this major developments are asked to follow the Be Lean, Be Clean and Be Green energy hierarchy.

Be Lean

The Be Lean stage asks for buildings to use less energy by improving U-values, air permeability or through thermal mass.

Be Clean

The Be Clean stage means that any energy supplied should be efficient as possible through high COP heat pumps, high efficiency boilers or CHP (combined heat and power) systems.

Be Green

The Be Green stage is for the generation of renewable energy through technologies such as photovoltaic panels, biomass or wind turbines.

The carbon dioxide emissions for each stage of the energy hierarchy have to be calculated individually to show the improvements each stage of the hierarchy will have. Then overall the buildings actual calculated carbon emissions have to be a 40% improvement over the 2010 Building Regulations Notional Building (this equates to a 35% improvement over the 2013 Building Regulations Notional Building).

At Ecodraw we will produce a Dynamic Simulation Thermal Model of your proposed development and at each stage of the energy hierarchy calculate the carbon emissions produced.

If the building is still failing the Brent Borough Council London Plan target of a 40% improvement over 2010 Building Regulations, we can then work alongside the architects, designers and engineers to find ways to improve the efficiency of the building and recalculate the buildings carbon emissions until a passed is achieved.

A London Plan Energy Statement showing the results of the study will be produced and this can be submitted along with your planning application to Brent Borough Council to show your compliance.

Cooling Hierarchy

As well as satisfying the energy hierarchy set out in the London Plan, Brent Council may also ask that major developments need to comply with the cooling hierarchy, set out in Policy 5.9 Overheating and Cooling.

The London Plan cooling hierarchy seeks to reduce the impact of the urban heat island effect by:

  1. Minimising internal heat generation through efficient design.
  2. Reduce the amount of heat entering a building in the summer through orientation, shading, insulation and green roofs.
  3. Manage the heat within the building through exposed internal mass and high ceilings.
  4. Passive ventilation.
  5. Mechanical Ventilation
  6. Where mechanical cooling is still required, ensure that it is the most efficient type.

We can use the same Dynamic Simulation Thermal Model of your building used to calculate its carbon emissions to also investigate the effect each stage of the cooling hierarchy will have on the overheating and cooling loads of the development.

If you would like to view a copy of the London Plan yourself you can find the entire 408 page document here.

If you have any questions about the London Plan or would like us to carry out the energy and cooling hierarchies for your development in Brent please get in touch with us today.

*Major Developments are defined as either:

Dwellings: where 10 or more are to be constructed (or if the number is not given, area is more than 0.5 hectares).

For all other uses: where the floor area is 1,000 metres squared or more (or the site area is 1 hectare or more).