Osborne tears up key countryside protection and green energy project.

Whitehall sources confirmed that a review would be made of the Habitats Regulations, which transpose two very strong EU wildlife directives, the 1979 Birds Directive and the 1982 Habitats Directive, into British law. The regulations make damaging developments on prime nature sites virtually impossible, and have long been criticised by parts of the business lobby. The review will take account of the way the regulations are implemented, rather than a wholesale rewriting, which would be impossible without EU consent – but it is clear that the aim would be to slacken their restriction on such development.

Two major retreats on the environment will form part of the economic growth plans to be announced by the Chancellor, George Osborne, in his Autumn Statement today, raising fresh questions about David Cameron’s pledge to head “the greenest Government ever”.

In one, Britain’s toughest wildlife protection laws, which stringently restrict economic development in environmentally sensitive areas, will be reviewed and potentially slackened, while in the other, much of £1bn set aside for developing Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), the key technology in the fight against global warming, will be released for other projects.

The chief executive of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Mike Clarke said “We have had 17 years of a system which has protected our best wildlife sites, and now that appears to be under threat.  Weakening these regulations will lead to a reign of environmental destruction that we have not seen in a generation.”

This is what Mark Avery had to say about George Osborne’s statement  in his blog. The crassness of the Chancellor’s words stung wildlife NGOs into something a bit more animated than puzzlement and sadness – there was a touch of real anger. You can read all of  Mark’s comments here.

Terry Pickford a founder member of the North West Raptor Protection group commented today there should be no surprises here. At a time when “protected” raptors continue to be poisoned, shot and trapped they need more not less government support and protection. Any relaxation of legislation covering developments within important wildlife habitats will be a disaster for many wildlife species, including raptors. It was only a few months ago giving his reply to a question raised in the House of Commons by the Labour MP Angela Smith, the Minister for the Environment and Fisheries Richard Benyon stated existing wildlife legislation was strong enough and there would be no need to introduce Vicarious Liability. This sums up the green credentials of the current government in my opinion claims Terry Pickford.

You can read more on this story here.

6 comments to Osborne tears up key countryside protection and green energy project.

  • Circus maximus

    Listening to the noises coming from the tories earlier this week…they are looking at a new airport in the estuary….the habitats regs are a big block.

    Editor’s question- which estuary?

  • paul williams

    I think it may be the Thames, not sure.

  • John Miles

    Its for all the rich people to fly away from Britain and not come back!
    By the way is George Osborne related to Mark Osborne. He is the man who takes on a Red Grouse moor and all the Birds of Prey amazingly disappear thereafter.

  • harrier man

    Must be related some where along the line John they seem to be attcking wildlife along all fronts.

  • This is sickening and very sad, it seems to me that the only people who will now fight for the protection of our wonderful countryside and it’s flora and fauna are people like us. Is it any wonder that people are striking? there is much discontent in this country as ordinary people are no longer prepared to put up with this greedy goverment which is striding over everything that made this country something to be proud of, soon there will be nothing left for us and our grandchildren to enjoy. What a future, no wildlife, no open countryside, just industrial estates, houses, more roads filled with dead animals, we cannot stand back and let this happen.

  • John, this government seem to be related to a bunch of magicians, they are making everything that we hold dear disappear. This government should begin by reducing their own pensions and over-the top benefits paid for by the tax payers, many of whom will shortly be out of a job because of this government and the Banks.