Council's green plan moves a step closer

Pathfinder House in Huntingdon

Pathfinder House in Huntingdon. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Huntingdonshire has moved a step closer towards becoming net carbon zero by 2040.

An update of Huntingdonshire District Council’s green policies has moved a step closer after passing through a key meeting of its cabinet and the authority is now expected to approve the strategy at a meeting of the full council in December.

It is also expected to adopt green policies to fit in with the OxCam Arc, a scheme which will create a massive swathe of development between Cambridge and Oxford, passing close to the St Neots area.

Council leader Ryan Fuller said: “Huntingdonshire District Council has a longstanding record of delivering a sustainable approach in response to the environmental challenges that we all face, by focusing on tangible actions, enabling Huntingdonshire to be a good place to live and work, with a good start in life and a place to enjoy good health.”

The council first produced an environment and climate strategy in 2007 and developed its “Pride of Place” system in 2018 as a top priority for managing its natural environment, including planting wildflower meadows covering the equivalent area of five and a half Wembley stadiums, a new park in St Ives and earmarking £2.5m of investment in open spaces.

Cllr Fuller said: “Since 2018 carbon dioxide emission savings have increased to over 600 tons per annum through innovative investment in our buildings, with a further 440 tonnes per annum projected to be saved by March 2022 thanks to a £3.8m government-funded investment in decarbonisation.

 “We are already committed to doing more with clear funding assigned to baseline our carbon impact and biodiversity again and establish even more actions to minimise the impact of our own operations, maximise our positive impact on the environment and influence our partners, businesses and communities to do more.”

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Cllr Fuller said next year would see a focus on a green recovery in the district, balanced against the need for good homes, good jobs and good health. It would follow on from the support given by the council during the pandemic.

The council’s plan includes becoming net zero carbon by 2040, protecting and enhancing green spaces, making sure development minimises the effects of climate change and minimising the impact of its operations.