Milton Keynes’ work to reduce the borough’s ‘carbon footprint’ has been held up as an example of best practice in the latest set of planning guidance from the Greater London Authority.
In the GLA’s Supplementary Planning Guidance on Sustainable Design and Construction - forwarded by London Mayor Boris Johnson – the report praises the work done locally to tackle carbon emissions.
The report states: “Milton Keynes has had a carbon offset fund in operation since 2006. Planning policy seeks developments of 5 dwellings or 1,000sqm to be carbon neutral or they will be expected to make a contribution into the Milton Keynes Offset Fund at a rate of £200 per tonne CO2 emitted over one year.
“The contributions are used to off-set carbon emissions in existing developments through measures including improved insulation.”
The Milton Keynes Carbon Offset Fund has been in development since 2004 and was the first of its kind in the UK.
The main aim of establishing the fund is to enable Zero Carbon new development by offsetting the unavoidable new emissions, through ‘off site’ carbon reduction projects. Examples of this include loft and cavity wall insulation and installation of new boilers. Around 7,000 homes have had these types of improvements so far.
This is achieved through setting a ‘tariff’ on carbon emissions, implemented through section 106 agreements, whereby developers provide some kind of ‘community benefit’ as part of any planning permissions they are given.
Councillor Mick Legg, the Cabinet Member responsible for Public Realm, which covers planning issues etc, said: “Milton Keynes has fully embraced the agenda when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, and it’s very pleasing to see this recognised by the GLA, which is effectively the equivalent of national recognition.”
The full report can be viewed at: www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Revised%20SD%26C%20SPG_0.pdf