Barnet Council fail to collect more than £400,000 carbon offset payments from developers to help combat climate change
Barnet Council collected just £570 from developers to help offset carbon emissions according to a new report compiled by the Greater London Authority. According to the report, Barnet has a total of £430,131 of carbon offset payments agreed to in Planning Committee Reports, but which are waiting to have section 106 agreements signed off.
The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has declared a climate emergency and has set an ambition for London to be a zero carbon city by 2050. The Mayor’s new draft London Plan established a net zero carbon target for all major developments. All major developments are expected to maximise on-site carbon reductions, achieving a minimum of a 35 per cent carbon reduction beyond current Building Regulations.
Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore said:
‘Carbon emissions from London’s homes and workplaces make up 78 per cent of emissions and it is imperative that the contribution of new build development to London’s carbon footprint is minimised. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is clear that the planning system has an important role in the transition to a low carbon future and that ‘radical reductions’ in greenhouse gas emissions are needed.’
Labour Parliamentary candidate for Finchley and Golders Green Cllr Ross Houston added:
‘Barnet Council’s Conservative administration are utterly hopeless when it comes to climate change. They refused to declare a climate emergency, and now it turns out they’ve only collected a fraction of money owed to them by developers to reduce carbon emissions. At a time when they say they have no money to do anything, it is astounding that there is £430,131 that they are yet to claim. I urge the council to sign off the section 106 agreements, collect the money and start some real work to deal with the climate crisis.’
- Andrew Dismore is the Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden
- Cllr Ross Houston is the Labour candidate for Finchley and Golders Green
- Developers should aim to get as close to zero carbon on-site as possible but where this is not technically possible or viable, then the remaining emissions should be offset. To offset, developers should make a cash-in-lieu contribution to a Local Planning Authority’s (LPA) carbon offset fund, which are secured through section 106 agreements. LPAs are required to establish these funds which are ring-fenced for spending on carbon saving projects in the LPA. Carbon offset funds provide a source of funding for carbon reduction projects across London and have a role in funding emission reductions from existing buildings where achieving carbon savings can be more challenging compared to new build.
- The report can be found here: https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/2019_cof_survey_results_final_0.pdf