Overhaul of green regulation not revolutionary

13th April 2012


Overhaul of reg

Related Topics

Related tags

  • UK government

Author

IEMA

Despite pledging to scrap or change 70% of environment regulations, the majority of Defra's proposals to cut red tape have been accepted as a sensible approach to tidying up UK legislation

Following the red tape challenge review, Defra has outlined plans to revoke 53 sets of environment regulations and improve 132 more.

While the proposed changes affect almost three-quarters of environment legislation, the majority of those being scrapped are generally redundant regulations on wildlife, and the improvements are aimed at the implementation of the legislation rather than significant changes to the law.

“The spectre of deregulation and removal of protection for species hasn’t materialised,” confirmed Richard Arnold, technical director at consultancy Thomson Ecology. “By and large, the proposals related to wildlife and countryside legislation are about improvement and consolidation.”

Angus Evers, head of the environment group at SJ Berwin LLP and a spokesperson for the UK Environmental Law Association, labelled the report an anticlimax. “There seems to be a lot of headline grabbing about not very much. A few redundant regulations will be revoked and some others streamlined, but the core body of environmental legislation is going to remain pretty much intact.”

With most environment legislation dictated by Europe, the government was never going to be able to make massive changes, according to Stephen Tromans QC.

“In areas like waste, environmental assessment, habitats and industrial emissions, the government has no discretion to simplify or reduce the burden [of regulation],” he said. “If people think that they can do away with this legislation they are living in cloud-cuckoo-land.”

The decision to revoke the 2008 Regulations requiring large construction sites to prepare site waste management plans was criticised, however.

Evers disputed Defra’s position that the Regulations should be scrapped because they are not being effectively enforced.

“[Defra] should be asking why they aren’t being properly enforced and what can be done to improve that,” he argued. “If they revoked every bit of regulation that wasn’t being properly enforced we wouldn’t have anything left.”

Subscribe

Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.


Transform articles

Fifth of UK food firms unprepared for deforestation regulation

One in five UK food businesses are not prepared for EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) coming into force in December, a new survey has uncovered.

16th May 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Dr Julie Riggs issues a call to arms to tackle a modern-day human tragedy

15th March 2024

Read more

The UK’s new biodiversity net gain (BNG) requirements could create 15,000 hectares of woodlands, heath, grasslands, and wetlands and absorb 650,000 tonnes of carbon each year.

13th March 2024

Read more

Campaign group Wild Justice has accused the UK government of trying to relax pollution rules for housebuilders “through the backdoor”.

14th February 2024

Read more

Digital tracking, packaging data delays and new collections provide a waste focus for this edition’s environmental round-up by legislation expert Neil Howe

28th November 2023

Read more

Environmental crimes could result in prison sentences of up to 10 years and company fines of 5% of turnover under a proposed EU law agreed by the European parliament and council.

21st November 2023

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close