The Chair confirmed that the meeting was being broadcast live to the internet via the Council’s website and was capable of repeated viewing. The images and sound recording may be used for training purposes within the Council. All were asked to keep to the speaking guidelines which were outlined. Any views expressed by any speaker in the meeting are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of High Peak Borough Council.
That the minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2021 be approved as a correct record.
Actions from the last meeting
The following actions had been taken since the last meeting:
· Presentations had been circulated with the minutes
· The item for the website was awaiting final approval and would probably also include the draft Action Plan
· Members and officers had attended a number of training events including Design in the Public Sector, Embedding Climate Change into Council Decision Making,; Creating Meaningful Engagement with Communities in Climate Change and the APSE Energy Summit
· The bio-diversity group had met once
The draft Action Plan and explanatory notes were consider together with the comments of the High Peak Green Network on the plan.
The following comments and suggestions were made:
· Page 84 – delete reference to biomass as it’s controversial and a lot comes from imported timber
· Page 84 – heat pumps, not ground pumps
· Page 85 – query around EPC ratings and rented housing
· Page 87 – concern regarding the use of off-setting
· Page 86 – reference to trial of electric refuse vehicle by AES
· Page 88 – continued use of virtual meeting supported – legislation would need to be changed to extend provision for virtual meetings – lobbying was on-going at the moment. Noted that attendance at meetings by members had increased as well as views via the website.
· Page 87 – business miles – figures to be clarified. Staff travel target for 2021 described as unambitious.
It was noted that part 2 of the plan would be populated consideration of each theme by the working group.
Laurie James representing High Peak Green Network made additional comments to support those already submitted, including:
· The Council needs to agree a suite of hard objectives for this year and next, which should be specific, measurable, realistic and time bound;
· There should be a sense of urgency by the council
· Agree a framework and identify risks and costs
· Climate Officer is needed
· Unsure at present how council intends to proceed to deliver agenda
· Climate Change Working Group and themed groups have powerful roles to play
· Regarding offsetting, the council should consider what approach it wishes to take, tree planting may not deliver as intended
It was noted that Part 1 of the plan would see actions taken from April and will continue to develop with more actions and targets and quick wins.
Members supported the content and progress made with the development of the action plan.
That the comments made be noted, and the action plan be a standing item at each meeting to allow the group to discuss changes and updates.
Role of Planning - Ben Haywood
Ben Haywood and Mark James made a presentation to the Working Group around Planning and Climate Change (copy attached). The presentation covered the role of planning, national policy and legislation, the National Design Guide and Model Design Code, Local Plan Policy. local measures and next steps.
In response to queries raised around why a supplementary planning document could not be introduced to require developers to adhere to particular standards, members were advised that SPDs could only elaborate on adopted policies. Consideration could be given to the production of a guidance / best practice document to provide guidance to developers around enhanced standards which would be welcomed and supported.
Regarding reviewing the local plan. The view was expressed that there shouldn’t be a compromised between building affordable housing and climate change and that energy efficient affordable homes should be built.
Reference was made to comments made at the last meeting that planning constraints are a barrier to energy efficiency. The Head of Development Services advised that in terms of refurbishing the existing stock, the majority doesn’t require planning permission, but that with historic buildings and sensitive environments, there needed to be a balance between the benefits and the need to preserve heritage, but that technology was improving all the time.
That the presentation be welcomed.
Dates of Future Meetings
1. 24 March – Commercial Buildings and Industry
2. 22 April – Agriculture and Land Use
3. 20 May – Waste
4. Date TBC – Energy Supply
The dates of future meetings were noted.