Agenda and minutes

Climate and Environment Advisory Committee
Tuesday, 24 September 2019 2.00 p.m.

Venue: Swansley Room A and B - Ground Floor. View directions

Contact: 03450 450 500 Email: Democratic.Services@scambs.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Grenville Chamberlain.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Minutes:

None.

3.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting held on 8 July 2019.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2019 were agreed as a correct record, subject to the following amendments:

·         Councillor Peter Fane was added to the list of those councillors who had given their apologies.

·         In minute 4, the group Histon and Impington Youth Action was corrected to Histon and Impington Youth Eco Council.

·         In minute 5, the second recommendation from the Committee was amended to read: “Efforts be made to find a model to ensure that policies on sustainability be brought into the Local Plan.”

·         In minute 8, the words “An officer group has been set up to progress further investments by the Council in green energy” were replaced with “A ‘Green to our Core’ Cluster Board has been set up to co-ordinate environment and climate change/carbon reduction projects. Along with three other cluster boards this reports into a Corporate Transformation Board at Executive Management Team level.”

·         In minute 9, the second paragraph was amended to read: “… the Council could reduce carbon emissions directly through its housing and planning polices and indirectly through its wider influence.”

4.

Oral Update Relating to Item 6 of the Agenda for the Previous Meeting, Findings from Ecosystem Opportunity Mapping

Minutes:

The Principal Planning Policy Officer introduced this item on Ecosystem Opportunity Mapping in Cambridgeshire and its relevance to the Local Plan. The following points were made:

·         The evidence in the presentation could be used to ascertain the location of onshore wind farms.

·         The Government needed to re-consider the planning rules regarding onshore wind turbines and a motion was going to Council on this subject.

·         The Local Plan should promote Biodiversity.

 

The Principal Planning Policy Officer explained that the Council continued to consult with organisations such as the Wildlife Trust and Natural England regarding the need to promote biodiversity. It was understood that any call for development sites would have to take the local habitat into consideration.

 

It was hoped that the need for carbon off-setting could form part of the Council’s promotion of economic development.

 

The Committee agreed to hold an informal pre-meeting before attending the next meeting of the Scrutiny and Overview Committee on Thursday 17 October to discuss the Local Plan.

5.

Presentation: Actions that SCDC should take to accelerate progress towards the goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050

Focussing on the Housing Sector from Pippa Lockwood, University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute intern. For information and comment

Minutes:

The Committee received a presentation from Pippa Lockwood, an intern from the University of Cambridge Research Institute. It was noted that the report’s recommendations were from an external organisation.

 

It was noted that future homes would not be connected to gas or oil. Carbon offsetting could ensure that homes in new developments were carbon neutral. The cost and accuracy of carbon offsetting was discussed. Tree planting could promote bio-diversity.

 

It was noted that the Council could ensure that its housing stock was more energy efficient than privately owned homes. It was acknowledged that assessing the efficiency of private homes was more challenging.

 

It was suggested that it would be useful to have both the best case and the worst case scenarios, as there appeared to be big differences in predicted levels of emissions.

 

Councillor Pippa Heylings stated that the aim should be to improve on existing guidelines.

 

The Committee expressed the hope that the Council would continue to collaborate with the University of Cambridge on the achieving of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

6.

Overview of the Council's Support for Electric Vehicles - Report to Follow pdf icon PDF 317 KB

For information and comment

Minutes:

The Green Energy Investment Officer provided the Committee with an overview of the programmes which support the use of Electric Vehicles and demonstrated the Council’s commitment to being Green to Our Core.

 

It was suggested that supermarkets in the District should be encouraged to include charging points for electric cars, as other services and shops were already located nearby. It was noted that a number of the car parks in the District were run by parish councils, although some were nominally owned by the Council. The Development Officer – Climate and Environment explained that the County Council had written to parish councils about the location of charge points.

 

The Chairman suggested that other public sector organisations might be preparing an EV Strategy that would encompass the South Cambridgeshire area. Officers agreed to explore this opportunity to ensure that the strategy took in to consideration the need in South Cambridgeshire.

 

The Committee expressed the hope that enough chargers would be located in the District to ensure that all residents would be close to a charger.

7.

Investment in Green Energy - Progress Update - Report to Follow pdf icon PDF 314 KB

For information and comment.

Minutes:

The Green Energy Investment Officer presented this report, which provided the Committee with an update on the Council’s Green Energy Investment Programme, including projects at the Waterbeach Depot and South Cambridgeshire Hall sites.

 

Waterbeach Depot

It was noted that the solar photovoltaic installation has generated 22MWh energy to date, since mid-March 2019. These figures were similar to the modelled performance that 27% of energy needed for the Depot could be generated on site. Further feasibility studies were being undertaken to look at further energy efficiency, generation and storage at the Waterbeach Depot.

 

It was suggested that wind turbines could be placed at the depot in Waterbeach, possibly in phase 2.

 

South Cambs Hall

It was noted that our Energy Performance Contractor, Bouyges, were completing an Investment Grade Proposal (business case) detailing energy conservation measures for South Cambs Hall. A Ground Source Heat Pump was a key measure being proposed. Councillor Tumi Hawkins asked whether an Air Source Heat Pump had been investigated.

 

Councillor Peter Fane suggested that the building’s current energy performance should be measured and then compared with the building’s energy performance once the measures had been installed. The Development Officer – Climate and Energy agreed to find out if a thermal image camera could be used to provide a before and after comparison.

8.

Zero Carbon Action Plan Report - Report to Follow pdf icon PDF 255 KB

This report provides the Council’s agreed Zero Carbon Action Plan and proposed arrangements for progress against the plan to be monitored and revisions to the Plan to be made. The report is for information and comment.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Development Officer – Climate and Environment presented this report, which provided councillors with details of the Council’s agreed Zero Carbon Action Plan 2019-24, comprising 14 actions from the Council’s Business Plan 2019-24 through which the Council will influence carbon emissions in South Cambridgeshire.

 

The Development Officer – Climate and Environment explained that the report allowed the Committee to advise each Lead Cabinet Member on the actions in the Zero Carbon Action Plan. It was noted that the Plan consisted of actions in the Business Plan.

 

The Committee NOTED the report.

9.

Zero Carbon Futures Symposium Report pdf icon PDF 237 KB

This report provides the key findings and recommendations from the Zero Carbon Futures Symposium held by Cambridge Carbon Neutral in partnership with the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service on 21 May and is for information and comment.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Development Officer – Climate and Environment and Anne Miller presented the key findings and recommendations from the Zero Carbon Futures Symposium held by Carbon Neutral Cambridge in partnership with the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning Service on 21 May.

 

It was noted that retrofitting modern homes saved energy and would save money over the medium term.

 

The Committee supported the 10 recommendations in the report, to be delivered by 2030. It was noted that a letter had been sent to all local authorities.

 

It was agreed that house builders needed to be encouraged to construct more energy efficient housing. The Building and Natural Environment Manager agreed to contact the Building Control team regarding the performance gap relating to energy efficiency in homes.

10.

Date of Next Meeting

To note the date of the next meeting as Tuesday 19 November at 2pm.

Minutes:

The Committee noted that the next meeting will be held on Tuesday 19 November at 2pm in the Monkfield Room.