Proposed venue: Room 6 - Hurtmore, Millmead House, Millmead, Guildford, Surrey GU2 4BB. View directions
Contact: Carrie Anderson
Note: Also on Teams. See your Outlook invitation for joining instructions.
Welcome and introductions
The Chairman of the Climate Change Board, Councillor Cait Taylor had sent apologies. Councillor George Potter chaired the meeting in her absence.
Councillor Potter welcomed all to the meeting and introductions were delivered around the table.
Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Cait Taylor (Chairman), Francesca Castelo (Economic Policy Officer), Emma McBriarty (Senior Communications Officer), Alistair Atkinson (Guildford Environmental Forum) and Professor Bob Nichols (UNIS).
The minutes of the meeting held on 5 May 2022 were confirmed as a correct record. Matters arising were largely covered in Item 5 of the agenda. However, a question regarding addressing energy costs of the Spectrum Leisure Centre was raised as it had previously been left out of the energy emissions report due to its complexity.
It was explained that there had been a separate mandate constructed to examine the specific issues surrounding the refurbishment of Spectrum should the council choose to retain the building. Various surveys had been undertaken alongside a carbon emissions report and the results had recently been received. Officers were reviewing those surveys to compile a strategic outline business case (SOBC) to inform and support future decision making. This information would sit alongside the Council’s contractual arrangements with commercial partners when those arrangements were reviewed in due course. There would shortly be a meeting with Laser, who were the Council’s utilities broker to discuss the impact of rising energy prices and to review usage, including Spectrum during the year. There had been a meeting with Waverley Borough Council to understand what learning had been acquired from the recent renovation of the Cranleigh Leisure Centre.
Planning Policy Action on Climate Change Presentation
The Board received a presentation on Planning Policy delivered by Dan Knowles, Policy Officer – Planning Policy.
The Board heard that nationally, the had been an improvement in emissions from housing stock, significantly since 2014. A new house bult to 2014 standards would typically emit just over 3 tons of CO2 annually (a typical house was considered to be a three-bedroomed house). Since 2014, the grid had decarbonised and emissions from electricity had reduced significantly. Building regulations had changed recently in June 2022 and presently emissions for electricity were calculated to have dropped by 55% since 2013. There also been a moderate improvement to energy efficiency standards to new buildings driven by regulations, resulting in a 31% carbon reduction in new homes and a 27% reduction in non-residential buildings. The 2022 regulations also introduced a new measure, that of primary energy use. All new heating systems must be low temperature i.e. a heat pump. There were new standards for overheating. These new requirements had overtaken the Council’s current policies.
The Government had been promoting its standard for future homes which included 70-80% reduction in CO2 emissions against 2013 standards; further improvements to fabric standards; no new gas boilers would be installed in new homes and gas boilers banned from sale by 2035 and the national grid decarbonised by 2035.
Locally, the Local Plan – Strategies and Sites 2015-2034 (Local Plan Part One) was begun in 2013 and adopted in 2019.The relevant climate change policies were D2 (climate change and sustainable design), D1 (place shaping) and P4 (flooding, flood risk and groundwater protection). Policy D2 was most relevant as it concerned climate change adaptation and energy (low/zero carbon energy; heat networks; new buildings and energy hierarchy). In the borough of Guildford since 2019, on average there had been a 20% carbon reduction via Policy D2.
The energy hierarchy had been applied in Guildford. Developments had been benchmarked against one an other to understand what was achievable. It was anticipated that for dwellings a 10% carbon reduction was achievable against the 2013 standard on fabric alone. It had been more challenging to achieve a benchmark for apartments and non-dwellings, but the policy had been applied and developers were pushed to improve energy efficiencies.
The key issues for the borough would be high temperatures, increased rainfall and drought. Another ambition of D2 was to ensure developments were adaptive to these issues.
The Climate Change, Sustainable Design and Construction SPD was adopted in 2020 which set out clearly to developers what was required of them in terms of D2 and how carbon emissions should be calculated. It also provided guidance on good sustainable design. This document had a positive impact on the quality of submitted applications.
The Local Plan (Development Management Policies) Part two, was currently with the Secretary of State for examination. Within it there were four new policies that directly affected climate change: Policy D12 (Sustainable and low impact development); Policy D13 (Climate change adaptation); Policy D14 (Carbon emissions from buildings); Policy ... view the full minutes text for item 13.
The Climate Change Officer had set out actions from previous meetings which were reviewed to account for any matters outstanding. The following was noted:
A £33,000 growth bid had been invested to green the council’s energy supply, although the green basket energy tariff was not yet in place due to a delay on the part of the provider. The intention to change had been logged with the provider and it was anticipated the move would be made by April next year to the green energy option and by October 2023 for the green basket tariff.
It had been three years since the Council declared a climate emergency and the Board was of the view that it was appropriate to return to the original wording of the declaration for a review. It was also necessary to clarify the Council’s definition and objectives with regard to ‘net zero’ within that declaration. There should be a consideration of whether scopes one, two and three should be included in a revised definition of ‘net zero’. In addition, it should be clarified if the response of the Council should include the outcomes of carbon emissions such as air quality issues and biodiversity impacts in the form a revised action plan. Although it was not felt that a full re-write of the declaration was necessary, there was a full agenda of work planned for the next meet two meetings. It would be helpful to identify success criteria to build the business case. Consequently, it was agreed there should be an additional informal meeting of the Board devoted solely to this discussion. The DSO would canvass for a date. It was the view of the Board that the re-worded declaration should be taken back to full Council for approval.
It was expected that new the climate communications plan would be ready to submit to the Board at the next meeting in September. This would include information and guidance videos.
Surveys to engage with local businesses were being drawn up.
The revised Carbon Trajectory report had just been delivered and there would be more information provided at the September meeting.
The Council was in the process of rolling out new LEV (Low Emissions Vehicle) community minibuses. The reference to Surrey County Council in the original action was unclear but could relate to a funding opportunity. Nat and Chris would check to ensure there were no outstanding issues and the action could be closed.
An action was outstanding for Alistair to circulate a paper concerning natural capital and health and well-being costs.
It was recommended a specialist in carbon costs be invited to address the Board and to set out any opportunities for the Council. The Finance Team would be approached for more detail.
An action concerning collaboration with UNIS with regard to an influencing behaviours project was considered beneficial and should be retained.
Any other business
There was no other business.
Dates of future meetings
The date of the next meeting would be Wednesday 28 September at 10:30am.
The meeting would be in-person in Committee Room 8 (Hatchlands) and on Teams (‘Hybrid’) at the request of the members.