Money for Bigger Carbon Reduction Measures

Section 106 payments are a kind of tax on larger building development. Originally they were meant to pay for say the medical centre or school needed to serve a new housing estate. More recently it has been treated as a pure development tax and a newer version envisages its use in paying for carbon reduction projects.

As yet there aren’t very many of these. The main reason is the long lead time between applying for planning permission, receiving planning permission, and commencing construction. With the policy being relatively new, not a lot of developments have progressed all the way to implementation.

There are limits on what it can be used for. Community Infrastructure Levy Regulation 122 sets out the requirements for spending Section 106 funding, as follows:

“(2) A planning obligation may only constitute a reason for granting planning permission for the development if the obligation is-

(a) necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms;
(b) directly related to the development; and
(c) fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.”

So Section 106 funding must be used to mitigate the impacts of the development that led to the contribution. And although most development impacts are experienced most intensely within the geographic area nearest the development, other impacts such as carbon emissions can be just as well or even better mitigated further from the development.

The following are examples of the types of mitigation measures that are currently being assessed for their costs and benefits:

Cavity Wall Insulation
Gas-Fired Condensing Boilers
Heating Controls for Wet Central Heating System
Hot Water Cylinder Insulation
Loft or Rafter Insulation (Including Loft Hatch Insulation)
Air Source Heat Pump
Biomass Boilers
Biomass Room Heaters
Cylinder Thermostats
Draft Proofing
Ground Source Heat Pumps
External Wall Insulation (Pre-1967)
External Wall Insulation (Post-1967)
Fan Assisted Storage Heaters
Flue Gas Heat Recovery Devices
High Performance External Doors
Internal Wall Insulation(post-1967)
Internal Wall Insulation(pre-1967)
Micro CHP
Replacement Glazing
Roof Insulation (Flat Roof)
Room In Roof Insulation
Secondary Glazing
Solar Water Heating
Under Floor Insulation
Warm Air Unit
Waste Water Heat Recovery
Air Source Heat Pump
Biomass Boilers
Biomass Room Heaters
Cavity Wall Insulation
Decentralised Energy (CHP)

Once the local authority officers know which of these will get us the most carbon reduction benefit for their ‘buck’, and once sufficient funds have been accumulated, they will recommend what the money should be spent on.