Policy notice: Update on carbon off-set payment proposals

21 Feb 2024

Papers newly released by Westminster City Council state that updated proposals for its Planning Obligations & Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (POAH SPD) will be adopted under Cabinet Member authority on 28 February, taking effect from 7 March, where it will be given weight as a material consideration in deciding planning applications.

Of particular note to WPA members are the policies on carbon off-set payments for new development (commercial schemes of at least 1,000 sqm or a site of 0.5 hectares, or residential projects comprising 10 or more homes):

  • As previously proposed by the council, the carbon price will be set at £880 per tonne.
  • However, the cost for all-electric buildings  which are the majority of major development schemes in Westminster – will be discounted to 37.5% (as a ‘grid carbonisation allowance’) which is £330 per tonne. This allowance may be reviewed in the future, in line with projections on the progress of grid decarbonisation and viability testing.

The grid decarbonisation allowance will also be applied to emissions from district heat networks, regardless of fuel type.

For information about the City Council’s earlier carbon offsetting proposals, please refer to previous WPA newsletters or read the association’s representations here.

Other elements of the SPD covering affordable workspace and housing appear to remain largely unchanged.

The WPA is reviewing the details and would value any feedback from members in the meantime. Email

Further reading:

Response: Draft Planning Obligations and Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document representations

Response: WCC Carbon Offset proposed price increase