Agenda and minutes

Environment Scrutiny Commission
Wednesday 20 January 2021 6.30 pm

Venue: Zoom

Contact: Julie Timbrell  0207 525 0514

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

2.

Notification of any items of business which the chair deems urgent

3.

Disclosure of Interests and Dispensation

4.

Minutes

5.

Review: Planning and the Environment

    The following will attend to support the Commission’s review into Planning and the Environment:

     

    ·  Planning Officers - a report is attached.

     

     

    ·  Climate Framework with Ann Griffin, a member of Southwark’s Design Review Panel, Director of  Architects Collaborative and Mina Hasman , Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who is group lead for the Cross-Industry

    Action Group, who  instigated the Climate Framework. Mina is  also on the board of UK Green Building Council. The Climate Framework is attached.

     

     

    ·  Southwark Planning Network, with Paula Orr and Richard Lee. A report to support their presentation is attached.

    Supporting documents:

    Minutes:

    Ann Griffin, a member of Southwark’s Design Review Panel, Director of  Architects Collaborative and Mina Hasman , Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who is group lead for the Cross-Industry

     

    Ann Griffin started by saying she recognised Southwark as an ambitious borough.

     

    She referred to the wider context. Currently reducing operational carbon is the current key focus however as buildings get more efficient this improves so it is important to also concentrate on embodied carbon. Embodied carbon is particularly significant at the build stage, in maintenance and at end of life.

     

    The Circular Economy is increasingly recognised as important, however there is a tendency to pay lip service rather than considering reuse and how a building might be recycled at the end of its lifetime.

     

    Ann highlighted a how a range of inconsistent and misaligned regulatory functions and policies, which are working to different standards, for example planning and development control, make it more difficult to set coherent environmental standards.  Permitted development also causes problems.

     

    The GLA recently set a price of £95 per tonne and it is difficult to work to different prices. However Southwark need to get to a position where carbon is met ‘on site’, by ensuring that buildings are made of the right materials.

     

     

    Three integrated steps were recommended:

     

    ·  Planning: consent to high pre construction carbon conditions on paper that achieve net zero.

     

    ·  Utilise Building Control to ensure planning standards are met on site. This is innovative and practical, ensuring that buildings actually meet the carbon standards set down on paper. Ann warned that there is too much value engineering and exploitation of loop holes that mean standards are not achieved.  A completion certificate ought to be required with Building Control issuing this, coordinated with Planning.

     

    ·  External stakeholders and community are engaged. Ann noted the progress here with the Climate Strategy and stakeholder engagement, and gave the example of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods.

     

    She emphasised the importance of the above three recommendation being fully aligned.

     

    Mina Hasman, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, who is group lead for the Cross-Industry Climate Framework presented on the framework role in educating, integrating and building capacity across different disciplines to deliver net zero by 2030 and tackle the ecological crisis. 

     

    The chair then invited comment and questions:

     

    ·  Mina and Ann said they saw Southwark as an ambitious borough because the council declared a Climate Emergency very early and because of the establishment of the Environment Scrutiny Commission.

     

    ·  A Completion certificate would build on the existing work of Building Control, who currently have a role assuring standards, but work to lower ones. The recommendation builds on this advising that Building Control adopted this role, which is clearly defined to developers and enables checking that the carbon standards set down in Planning have been met .Other boroughs are considering a similar step, and have been doing so for the last several years but this has not yet been implemented.

     

    ·  Completion certificates were part of the Future Homes policy framework proposed by the early Coalition government serval years ago,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.

6.

Interview with the Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Planning & Transport

    Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Planning & Transport, will be interviewed on his portfolio, attached.

    Supporting documents:

    Minutes:

    Cllr Johnson Situ, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency, Planning & Transport, was interviewed on his portfolio. The following topics were covered:

     

    ·  Overview of Climate Emergency strategy, including recent actions.

     

    ·  New Southwark Plan - process to amend and strengthen with reference to the Climate Emergency.  

     

    ·  Engagement with the community on the Climate Emergency plans, with reference to Citizens Juries

     

    ·  Pace of delivery of the Climate Emergency Strategy , with reference to the anticipated action plan, and delivering high environmental planning and building standards  

     

    ·  Carbon Offset Fund - process for spending including make up of the planned decision making body.

     

    ·  Carbon pricing - how arrived at the 50% raise to £95

     

    ·  Urban Greening Factor implementation

     

    ·  Council housing and council services meeting high environmental standards

     

    ·  Emission based parking charging plans

     

    ·  Community Energy and potential for roll out in the Climate Emergency action plan

     

    RESOLVED

     

    Officers will provide an update on:

     

    ·  The make up of the body of members and officers  deciding the Carbon Offset Fund allocation and spend,

     

    ·  The timescale for the emission based parking charging to come into effect.

7.

Climate Emergency strategy and work programme - update

8.

Tracking Environment Scrutiny Commission review recommendations

9.

Work Programme