We are objecting to the Murphy’s site planning application

Thursday, 17th February

• SOME 1.9 million tonnes CO2e emissions would be caused by the construction of the proposed Murphy’s site development.

This is twice the amount of CO2e emissions caused within the borough of Camden by heating of buildings, electricity use and vehicular traffic in a year.

This is because the development would use 80,000 tonnes of concrete and steel, materials which have very high “embodied carbon” and are responsible for around 15 per cent of global CO2e emissions.

Camden’s planning policy says, “We will expect all development to optimise resource efficiency by using materials with low- embodied carbon content”.

We would like to see this enforced. If this is “expected” it is, in effect, in our view required unless there is a strong justification for doing otherwise.

In the longer term the council should strengthen their expectations to absolutely “require” low-embodied carbon for all new buildings.

A large scheme like the Murphy’s site redevelopment is an ideal opportunity to take a low-carbon approach to development using primarily timber for structure with other low-carbon materials for cladding.

This would limit the maximum height of the new buildings to around eight to nine storeys and could reduce the CO2e emissions due to construction to a tenth or less.

Instead we see massive blocks with deep floor plans and high-embodied carbon construction. The developers’ targets for energy used for heating and lighting are also depressing, based on out-of-date methodology and regulations, and completely inadequate to the climate crisis we face.

These buildings will require retrofitting as soon as they are built. Smaller buildings, with less deep floor plans and more space between them, would enable natural ventilation and cooling and reduce energy use for lighting.

We are objecting to the planning application for the Murphy’s site as the form and configuration of the proposed buildings is harmful to global efforts to reduce the effects of climate change.


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