Meeting to discuss plans for net zero carbon for Huntingdonshire

Pathfinder House, in St Mary's Street, in Huntingdon.

Pathfinder House, in St Mary's Street, in Huntingdon. - Credit: HUNTS POST

Environmental plans to take Huntingdonshire District Council to a net zero carbon rating by 2040 are set to move a stage closer.

The authority is expected to endorse a “refresh” of its green policies at a meeting of its Cabinet on Thursday (October 14) with the proposals designed to fit in with a multi-million scheme to develop a huge swathe of land between Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire which passes through the district.

It is expected that the strategy will take two years to draw up and funding will be brought forward, including resources for an officer to be dedicated to the project.

HDC leader Ryan Fuller said: “Huntingdonshire District Council has a long-standing 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 district council first produced an overarching environment and climate strategy back in 2007 and has been working on these issues ever since.

He 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 tons per annum projected to be saved by March 2022 thanks to a £3.8m government-funded investment in decarbonisation.

Cllr Fuller added: “Following the exceptional support the district council has given to our communities and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, 2022 will see our environment and climate strategy renewed as we focus on a green recovery in Huntingdonshire balanced, against the need for good homes, good jobs and good health.”

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But pressure group Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Climate Action Coalition said that although it welcomed the scheme it was “disappointed” at the timescale.

A spokesman said: “This pace is insufficient given the magnitude of the climate crisis before us. Each day global temperatures continue to rise while new homes are built in Huntingdonshire with gas boilers.

“The pandemic has shown us how quickly and effectively HDC can respond during a crisis. A crisis of climate is now upon us and more speed is required.”

The spokesman added: “In the proposed document, HDC’s environmental principles are also explicitly linked to the Ox-Cam Arc Programme.

"This UK government initiative would include large-scale residential development in Huntingdonshire, especially in the countryside around St Neots. 

“This increase in population would put more pressure on the already strained infrastructure of the St Neots area.”