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Local Development Orders

Local Development Orders (LDO) grant permission for a specified type of development, which means no planning application is needed. LDOs are prepared by Local Planning Authorities who have the right to apply conditions on the LDO to ensure that the development is acceptable in planning terms.

Southwark District Heating Network Local Development Order

Adopted Local Development Order

The Southwark District Heating Network Local Development Order was adopted at Cabinet on 13 June 2023. View the cabinet report (PDF, 675kb)

The LDO grants planning permission for the development of a District Heating Network (DHN), comprising pipes, cables and wires, heat exchange equipment, street furniture, informational signage and ancillary engineering works within defined areas of land in the borough of Southwark and shown on the LDO map, subject to conditions.

The DHN comprises highly insulated underground pipes that take hot water from the SELCHP Energy Recovery Facility, and deliver it to heat exchangers in boiler houses on the Southwark estates, where the heat is extracted to provide heating and hot water, and the cooler water returns to the SELCHP plant for recirculation.

View the Southwark District Heating Network Local Developement Order (PDF, 578kb)

Why use a Local Development Order?

Unlike statutory undertakers like electricity and water companies, DHN operators do not have “permitted development rights” to install pipes and utilities equipment and therefore require planning permission. In order to avoid the need for potentially multiple planning applications the council has the option of making a Local Development Order which grants permission for the type of development specified in the Order, and by doing so, removes the need for several planning applications to be made.

Buildings account for over 75% of the carbon emissions generated in Southwark. The Council has been working for the past few years to test the viability and feasibility of extending the SELCHP DHN into the Old Kent Road area, and down to North Peckham. It has the potential to connect 3,000 council homes as well as new development, including the Tustin and Ledbury Estate. The council’s feasibility study suggests that connecting these development to district heating could reduce CO2 generated by heating and hot water by as much as 89% over the course of 25 years. Connecting more buildings to district heating can play a key role in Southwark and London’s response to the Climate Emergency.


The draft LDO was publically consulted over a ten-week period starting on 15 December 2022 and ending on 9 February 2023. The consultation had a total of 34 representations via the consultation hub and email. The majority of responses are supportive of the Local Development Order, with 27 giving a positive response and 3 providing a neutral response. More information on the consultation and the full responses can be found in the LDO Consultation report (PDF, 4.9mb).


The LDO area falls within two designated Archaeological Priority Areas (APA): APA1 North Southwark and Roman Roads and APA4 Peckham Village. As part of the preparation for the LDO, an Archaeological Desk Based Assessment (PDF, 8.4mb) was undertaken to identify areas which may be of archaeological interest within the LDO area and to ensure the appropriate measures are taken to protect and preserve any archaeological remains.

Environmental Impacts

As part of the making of the LDO, the council carried out an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Screening Opinion and has resolved that the Local Development Order does not comprise development which requires EIA.


The council has conducted an Equalities Impact Analysis (PDF, 416kb) to assess the impacts of the development of the DHN on those with protected characteristics.

Page last updated: 10 July 2023


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