This morning Environment Secretary George Eustice gave a speech on environmental recovery.
Of particular interest to CIEEM was the announcement of a new consultation on environmental assessment and mitigation. We were pleased to hear him say that ecological considerations need to be front-loaded into the planning development process. For this to work effectively, government must also ensure that local planning authorities have in-house ecological expertise.
We will review and response to the consultation when it is published, along with responding to the Environment Bill on its imminent return.
The Minister also indicated that the transposed Birds and Habitats Directives will be reviewed: “So while the environmental legislation we currently have is often credited to flagship EU directives like the Habitats Directive or the Birds Directive, these directives themselves were often principally about implementing at an EU level things that had already been agreed internationally through other international conventions like the Bern Convention. International conventions that the UK was always part of, will remain part of and where we will continue to drive international consensus for change and progress.”
Chair of Natural England, Tony Juniper, has responded to the speech on the Natural England blog.