Agenda and minutes

Climate and Environment Advisory Committee - Tuesday, 7 May 2019 3.00 p.m.

Venue: Monkfield Room, First Floor. View directions

Contact: 03450 450 500 Email: 

No. Item


Apologies for Absence




Declarations of Interest




Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 70 KB

To agree as a correct record the minutes of the meeting held on 25 March 2019.


The minutes of the meeting held on 25 March were agreed as a correct record, subject to the following amendments:

·         The inclusion of Councillor Nick Wright in the list of attendees.

·         Amending the last sentence of minute 4, to read “Attendance was by invitation.”

·         To add the following words to the first sentence of the second paragraph of minute 7: “as well as new developments.”


Chairman's Report


There was no Chairman’s report.


Home Energy Conservation Act: 2019 Update pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Additional documents:


The Development Officer – Climate and Environment presented this report on the Council’s Home Energy Conservation Act 2019 Update, which outlined the actions the Council was taking to improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in the District, and thus contribute to delivering carbon reduction and addressing fuel poverty.


In relation to Council housing, it was noted that an audit of the Council housing stock was being undertaken, including into energy performance, and this will inform the future approach to investment, including energy improvements. It was also noted the one of the reasons for some properties having poor energy ratings was because tenants sometime refuse works that would improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Where this happens, the Council carries out the work when the property becomes vacant.


It was noted that all new heating systems installed in the Council’s housing properties had high efficiency condensing boilers and modern energy efficient controls, providing savings for tenants and the environment.


The Development Officer – Climate and Environment noted that, in relation to improving efficiency in private housing, steps were being taken to commission a survey of private housing which would include recommendations as to how the Council could work with commercial companies to improve uptake of energy efficiency measures. A report to the Committee would be provided in due course.


The Committee NOTED the report.


Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction SPD pdf icon PDF 150 KB


The Senior Sustainability Officer (Design and Construction) presented this report to the Committee on the preparation of the Greater Cambridge Sustainable Design and Construction Supplementary Planning Document. This was being prepared to provide guidance on the implementation of policies related to climate change and sustainable design and construction contained in the South Cambridgeshire and Cambridge Local Plans.


The Senior Sustainability Officer (Design and Construction) agreed to circulate the draft Supplementary Planning Document to the members of the Committee. It was noted that councillors had until the end of the month to make comments.


Sustainable Show Homes

The Senior Sustainability Officer (Design and Construction) explained that it was difficult to ensure that developers showcased sustainable show homes. It was noted that in the absence of a national policy, all the Council could do was encourage developers to voluntarily adopt a more sustainable stance.


It was suggested that all planning authorities should collectively lobby the Government to ensure that all developments were sustainable. However, it was further suggested that the lobbying of the Greater Cambridgeshire Partnership and Combined Authority would be more effective.


It was hoped that targets on carbon reduction would be included in the next Local Plan. This would ensure that future developments would be sustainable, with carbon reduction integrated into the design and fabric of new buildings.


It was noted that grid capacity was important, to ensure that surplus energy could be stored.


It was agreed that the Committee should discuss the importance of planting trees, including tree farming, at a future meeting.


John Rankin stated that the Council should be aiming to be gross zero carbon, not net zero carbon.


The Committee NOTED the report.


Investment in Green Energy Progress Update - Oral Report (Kevin Ledger)


The Policy and Performance Officer updated the Committee on the progress being made in the Council’s Green Energy Investment programme. He provided details of the work that was being undertaken by Bouygues to produce an in-depth Investment Grade Proposal document for energy conservation measures at the South Cambs Hall site in Cambourne. This will build on the information contained within the High Level Assessment previously presented to the Committee, and which provided an outline business case for seven energy conservation measures at the South Cambs Hall site in Cambourne. It was noted that the target timescale for completion of the Investment Grade Proposal was the end of September.


The Policy and Performance Officer indicated that a log of additional project ideas would be taken to the upcoming Climate and Environment Officer Working Group for discussion and to formulate a forward work plan for the Green Energy Investment programme.


Members of the Committee made the following points:

·         Renewable energy generation measures and opportunities for investment in battery storage should continue to be considered for additional sites in the District.

·         The work of the Officer Working Group was supported.


It was noted that at present the Council has limited resources to devote to Green Energy Investment projects. A Green Energy Investment Officer post was being advertised and interviews were due to take place at the beginning of June.


The Committee NOTED the oral update.


Action Plan for a Zero Carbon South Cambs - Oral Update (Siobhan Mellon)


The Chairman introduced this item, noting than an Action Plan was needed to ensure that the Council does what it can to ensure that carbon emissions in the District will be progressively reduced to be net zero by 2050.


The Development Officer – Climate and Environment outlined that the plan would include actions to reduce emissions from the Council’s estate and operations; and provided details of the Action Plan, which had 22 actions, including the provision of electric vehicle chargers and converting the waste collection fleet to electric vehicles.


Members of the Committee made the following suggestions:

·         More solar farms were required.

·         Reduced car use was required.

·         Electric vehicle chargers at the Council’s offices must be able to re-charge the vehicles of visitors.

·         Wind farms should be encouraged, providing they were not opposed by residents.

·         Local businesses needed to be advised.

·         The Council needed to work with other neighbouring local authorities.

·         The Sustainable Parish Energy Partnership needed to be revitalised.


It was agreed that additional suggestions should be e-mailed to the Development Officer – Climate and Environment, to allow actions to be weighted.


Dates of the Next Meetings

The Committee are invited to agree meeting dates for the municipal year 2019/20.


The Senior Democratic Services Officer agreed to e-mail a schedule of meeting dates for 2019/20.