Agenda and minutes

Venue: Herefordshire Council Offices, Plough Lane, Hereford, HR4 0LE

Contact: Sarah Buffrey 

Link: Watch the recording of this meeting on the Herefordshire Council Youtube Channel

No. Item



To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies were noted from Cllr Davies and Cllr Tyler.



To receive declarations of interests in respect of Schedule 1, Schedule 2 or Other Interests from members of the committee in respect of items on the agenda.




MINUTES pdf icon PDF 736 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meetings held on 22 July and 29 July 2021.

Additional documents:


Resolved:       That the minutes of the meetings held on 22 July and 29 July 2021 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairperson.




Questions from members of the public pdf icon PDF 202 KB

To receive questions from members of the public.


Additional documents:


Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 1 to the minutes.


Questions from councillors pdf icon PDF 183 KB

To receive questions from councillors.


Additional documents:


Questions received and responses given are attached as appendix 2 to the minutes.


Environmental Building Design Standards pdf icon PDF 238 KB

This paper seeks agreement to approve the output of the proposed environmental building design standards which will set the standard for future developments and retrofit of housing schemes across the county.

Additional documents:


The cabinet member environment and economy introduced the report. She explained that she and the cabinet member for housing, regulatory services and community safety had been working with officers and experts for a number of months to put together these standards. She further explained that this document would relate to housing that the council planned to build itself. A separate process was under way to put together a supplementary planning document (SPD) on building standards which would apply to all housing across the county. There would be wide consultation on the SPD in the future.


It was proposed that paragraph 7 in the covering report be removed as this was duplicated by information further on in the resource implications section. Achieving Passivhaus standard in building design was slightly more expensive but costs were coming down and these design standards would be a consideration for any individual sites that subsequently came forward, alongside other considerations.


Cabinet members welcomed the report and noted the importance of housing being affordable to run as well as to purchase. It was hoped the council’s approach would encourage other builders to achieve similar standards.


It was noted that the government was consulting on future homes standards but this was not expected to be in place for some time and other councils were also pushing ahead with adopting similar standards.


Group leaders were generally supportive of the proposals and it was noted in discussion that:

·        The proposals link to the council’s work to address fuel poverty;

·        There would also need to be investment in retrofitting existing housing stock;

·        The need to position houses in places that did not exacerbate flooding would be included in the SPD and the cabinet member environment and economy would ensure this was done;

·        There was a modest additional cost to achieving these standards, but the cost of retrofitting properties was much greater and the finances did stack up when the whole life cost was taken into account;

·        The quality of landscaping around the properties was important;

·        The council was lobbying for national changes through a number of networks;

·        The standards were designed to allow flexibility for individual sites and set outcomes to be achieved rather than specific methods to be used.


It was unanimously resolved that:


(a)   The Herefordshire Future Homes report be approved; and

(b)   The recommendations in the report are adopted as the recognised standards for future housing developments and retrofit work undertaken by the council with the removal of paragraph 7 of the covering report.




Variation to West Mercia Energy Joint Agreement pdf icon PDF 431 KB

This report recommends to Cabinet and seeks approval that the Joint Agreement be varied to update the formulae for the distribution of the accumulated surplus each year.


The cabinet member finance, corporate services and planning introduced the item. She explained the role of West Mercia Energy and the reasons for recommending the amendment to the formula. Despite the revised formula being slightly to the detriment of Herefordshire council, it would be a better way of distributing any surplus in the long term and protected each of the member councils from changes in the way other member councils engaged with WME in the future.


Group leaders were supportive of the proposed changes.


It was unanimously resolved that:


a)     The West Mercia Energy Joint Agreement be varied to update the formulae for the distribution of the accumulated surplus each year; and

b)     The interim Director for Economy and Place be authorised, following consultation with the Solicitor to the Council and S151 Officer to finalise and execute the variation.