London demolition to be “discouraged”

New plan places London demolition contractors on notice.

Demolition should be actively discouraged to help reduce carbon emissions in the nation’s capital.

That is just one of the recommendations of a new report from the London Assembly entitled Retrofit vs Rebuild – Reducing Carbon in the Built Environment.

This report looks at the new approach laid out in the London Plan to assess both operational and embodied carbon emissions through Whole Life-Cycle Carbon Assessments.

Those Assessments compel builders to show they are working to reduce carbon emissions during construction. They also compel them to actively consider alternatives to demolition such as retention and retrofit if these reduce the carbon footprint of a development.

The report goes on to say: “Discouraging demolition could positively impact how we manage the quality of our historic housing estates going forward. This, in turn, could positively impact the capacity for communities to remain in their homes and to protect beloved historic community buildings, if they choose to.”

Sakina Sheikh, Chair of the Planning and Regeneration Committee, says: “There is no room for delay. We need a serious reorientation of our approach in order to ensure climate considerations are embedded at every layer of governance.”

A copy of the report can be found here.