The trajectory as set out in the New London Plan and consultation Part L 2020 is clear in relation to new gas Combined Heat & Power (CHP). It is heavily discouraged in the former and will not comply under the latter. But what of connections to networks with existing or already consented CHP?
Well, until the release of the adopted Part L 2020 suite of documentation in the new year this cannot be answered in its totality. But, if your site is to be registered under new Part L and you are required by planning consent to connect into an Energy Centre with existing or consented (i.e. soon to be installed) gas CHP, you are most certainly at risk. Whilst connection to an existing network has always been the priority in the eyes of the GLA, irrespective of carbon performance, doing so may immediately result in a failure to comply with new Part L.
This risk is particularly pertinent to multi-phased masterplans which have only registered the earlier phases to existing Part L, where a site Energy Centre has been developed in good faith and in line with planning obligations with a view to all future phases connecting into it. If you think this applies to you, there may be some Part L pestilence coming your way.
How to get around this? The most straightforward solution is to ensure a comprehensive masterplan-wide Part L notice is secured under the current Building Regs (although there are still some risks post-2025). If not possible, then a clash of priorities between GLA planning (which seeks for connection) and new Part L (which requires you not to) may ensue. Our advice? Tread carefully, watch this space and prepare a heat network decarbonisation plan.