There seems little doubt that this week is going to be one of those where we see announcements that will have a major impact on the environment in England, and not for the good. Last week was climate week – so I’m christening this week growth not green week.
The Grauniad has already published a leak of proposals to simplify environmental legislation. I was having difficulty downloading the document until I spotted that our cat had been playing with our router and knocked it off its perch. The document assigns various pieces of environmental legislation to different categories, which boil down to “trash”, “weaken” and “simplify”. I didn’t see any which were labelled “leave as it is, working well.” What does that say about how well are environmental laws are currently working?
On the other hand this is also a tidying up exercise, getting rid of redundant pieces of legislation. The Government claims that the review will save business £1Bn a year – how getting rid of an old amendment to a schedule of the wildlife and countryside act is going to save any money is beyond me.
Next on the list is the Habitat Regulations review – it’s likely this will be published on budget day in the hope that no-one will notice amid all the media clamour around the 50p tax rate, mansion taxes, tycoon taxes etc. I will certainly report back on the findings.
Later in the week (Thursday?) The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will be published. Noises from the Chancellor (no doubt he is driving this policy forward) suggest there has been no reform of the crazy proposals put forward last summer. Expect to see a major campaign against these proposals start running.
Keep watching the blog this week as I will try and update you as news comes in on these and other environmental pronouncements.