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London planning for lean, clean and green

The London plan is an important document, as it will shape the lives of many Londoners on a daily basis as well as and shaping how London will evolve and develop over the coming years.
The Mayor’s newly published draft aims at several targets, wanting to make all new developments zero carbon. The draft includes for example a vast network of drinking fountains across the city, just so that the need for plastic bottles will reduce drastically. But the plan mainly addresses the need for many more homes in greater London area, especially affordable ones.

Mayor Sadiq Khan says he wants a remarkable change and to make London drastically cut down on waste and the use of fossil fuels. One of the areas of focus Sadiq Khan wants to shift from is London’s reliance on natural gases. Instead the intention is to increase the amount of renewable energy sources all over London. All new developments are said to include “the use of energy from waste schemes that are connected to a heat network, as well as solar photovoltaic and solar thermal both on buildings and at a larger scale on appropriate sites”. In the plan there is also a mention of the potential for wind and hydropower-based renewable energy in some locations.

Zero carbon

The mayor is committed to make London a zero-carbon city and the energy hierarchy will enable this by informing the design, construction and operation of new buildings. Importantly the plan states that “boroughs should ensure that all developments maximise opportunities for on-site electricity and heat production from solar technologies (photovoltaic and thermal)”.
This approach (much acclaimed by both environmental groups and building industry in the UK) will help reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy cost and improve London’s energy agility.

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) responded:
– London is showing that cities can lead the way in the creation of a better, more sustainable and more resilient built environment. It is very positive that, from 2019, the capital will be the first city in the UK where all major developments will need to be zero carbon.

Telford Homes chief executive Jon Di-Stefano broadly welcomed the plan for more densely built homes in London.
– There are lots of locations in London where planning guidance and historic planning rules have kept a cap on height for no reason at all. There is no real harm in [denser building] where transport infrastructure can support it.
In all many welcome the new London Plan, while many others still are hesitant. The main reason for this is that the draft is just a framework of ideas and needs, still lacking “down to earth” accurate solutions.

Links to reading more about the draft to a new London plan:

The plan itself

A drinking fountain network


On the house crises in London


To save the pubs of London


Green builders welcome London Plan


Follow Sadiq Khan on Twitter: