My take; its obvious illegal undeliverable bullshit requiring primary legislation that will never pass. Lets start with EU Withdrawl Act, The international Brexit treaty, the no derogationno regression clauses of the Environment Act 2020, laws transposing EU treaties and endless regulations transposing Ejeu decisions into UK law, draft clauses of the Leveling up bill, the new statutory Office for Environmental Protection set up in 2021 by Parliament and statute to guarantee some nutty future Pm could never do such a nutjob thing, together numerous safeguards on this mentioned on this point by the junior planning minister at committee stage in early September ‘don’t worry we would never do that’ – its all now apparently lies which would require at least 2 years of fraught parliamentary time (by which time we are at an election), the will be immediate all out rebellion on the Leveling up Bill (as basically parliament was lied to endlessly over the last six months) plus endless reversions by the lords to rectify and make lawful with a year of successful JRs in between to overturn every decision.
Does practicality and legality matter to Truss, not a f””ing jot as shes playing to the crowd of her libertarian dark money American backers who want her to make a propaganda by deed performance art fake impersonation of grown up legislation play at politics s”””t show that would rally the far right, oil loving anti green, anti woke cause. Of course it will never work as 50% of her mps are signed up to net zero and no derogation on green laws. So it will never pass in the house. For f”’ks sake Srtanley Johnson f”’ing wrote the Birds Directive and Habitat directive. So it for show ‘iron weathervame’ pointing in every direction at once Truss as per usual impractical and ridiculous playing to a hard neo-fascist right uber dark money billionaire oil baron koch brother and crew climate change denying, Steve Baker and other always on the wrong side of every argument gammony chums crony crowd.
Reality doesn’t matter, to such nutters its all about the show and getting good headlines on the hard right GB News and Fox News and stiff it to the greeny woke snowflake poofter lefties green who lie in the way of squeezing every last dollar for the next 50 years of legacy climate destroying capital, and f”k the planet, all that matters is protecting legacy robber baron unearned wealth crowd of Tufton Street mafia dumbtanks and corruption fueled institutes who fund you – we pay the piper- lets hear the tune.
Lets talk through the various neutrality laws because lets be honest they are complex, sometimes less than fair and hard to navigate. But some of us have mastered them all and finds ways through, and all are done with best of intentions to to deal with genuine nature wrecking aspects of modern life leading to sometimes research show 80-(0% reductions in some protected species in many areas over the last 30 years (such as ground nesting wetland birds) its a real issue not a woke issue. Extinction rebellion, surely no rebellions any more if we give extinction a helping hand?
Lets start with Equestrian neutrality, is it unfair to housebuilders as opposed to water companies or chicken farmers. But the big problem on Britain’s most beautiful river the Wye is the worlds greatest concentration off nitrate pooping chickens (16 million of them ) in giant factory farms shed is Hereford and Powys who you ministers have failed to bugger all about for decades as the NFU next door to DEFRA have achieved state capture through generous Tory funding by intensive planet destroying farmers.
The same issue with recreational impact (SANGS) water neutrality etc. Recreational impact is about too many people driving to sensitive areas whose dogs eat eggs, Just tax parking (or even tax dogs and cats if owners are so stupid and selfish they let their pets make whole species go extinct), Water nuetrality- too many extraction licenses – just tax extraction – market based – price signal based solutions.
The problem of course is Natural England is forced to enforce hamfisted interventions because at source sensible controls have never been implemented by lazy do nothing – hey Truss who was the recent Environment Minister famous for achieving nothing and doing nothing about anything except cutting Natural England’ budget to the bone? Haven’t guessed yet – look in the mirror. Hey Trussie just go ll the way and abolish Natural England which will no longer have any powers to do anything. Which of course will require primary legislation which will never pass.
There are complex ways through which must be simplified, but it is sheer Truss stubborn laziness doesn’t even to want to learn the details and possible solutions. After all she is infamous in the civil service known for her red box to come back with TL/DR (too long didn’t read, or perhaps Truss Loves Denying Reality) all over papers more than one side of A4 and for asking for everything to be verbally explained (which is very sad as it is a classic symptom of extreme autism) She is even more institutionally lazy on good governance through evidenced solutions than Trump. Truss should be afraid because she has made an enemy of every right thinking even if right ring friend of the environment. We know what happened to the Canadian and Austrian conservatives after they appointed similar extremist anti-greens climate change denying nutjobs – a teak rebellion and immediate defeat at the next election. but Truss doesn’t even want to win election – as I said its all performance art for her mad funders – better to go down fighting to raise more funds for other extremist nutters in other countries – a folorn hope like assault in well defended walls – all that matters is glory in deliberately losing.
“If, in spite of a negative assessment of the implications for the site and in the absence of alternative solutions, a plan or project must nevertheless be carried out for imperative reasons of overriding public interest, including those of a social or economic nature, the Member State shall take all compensatory measures necessary to ensure that the overall coherence of Natura 2000 is protected. It shall inform the Commission of the compensatory measures adopted. Where the site concerned hosts a priority natural habitat type and/or a priority species, the only considerations which may be raised are those relating to human health or public safety, to beneficial consequences of primary importance for the environment or, further to an opinion from the Commission, to other imperative reasons of overriding public interest”.
Well as you will see this is at the end of the process. You cant preempt at the benginning. And now the Office for the Environment will take the commissions role in the current legislation. In any event following a Osborne imposed review of iropi as part of his similar 2011 Growth plan (which also involved a wave of Enterprise Zones) (a big row over Falmouth Harbour dredging for cruise ships at the time, the review found the system wored, it could be improved with further guidance and was but was no major barrier to growth. Truss didnt even lift a finger when DEFRA secretary to make further reforms or improvements to the system. By the way still no application for dredging at Falmouth as the Harbour Master and Fishermen all oppose it and endless reports show its harmful impact.
Finally where? Loking at most of the suggested locations most have National Network sites (what European sites are now called) nowhere near them, so again its performance art. But a few do.
The West Midlands, the Thames estuary, the Tees Valley, West Yorkshire and Norfolk are among the places where the zones may be sited
There are 9 Freeport sites, whose maps hugely extend into two national parks, add West Yorkshire, Norfolk (Lizs constituancy area- though presumably they mean Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth half in Norfolk – though perhaps we will see a turnip taliban investment zone at Diss – where you can get tax breaks on a new John Deere Tractor (manufactired in Germany and Diss will become after one cllr opposed a scheme of 200 units a ‘mega megopolis’. ) and the West Midlands you get 12. So no need to guess where the first wave of 12 will be we know.
At least three of these, Solent South Devon and Thames Estuary. I know personally from working in the Thames Estauray that habitat is a contraint but not a irresolvable one, even to projects of the scale mentioned in teh article, if you carfully plan miotogation and work issues through. It is worth doing as it protects water quality, provides County Parks for new development and protects threatened birds. A win win win, would become a lose, lose lose to all three.
Does Truss really want headlines Truss Threatens New forest and Dartmoor with swepping away of Laws potecting Threatened species? Its the dumbest knid of politics.
Green planning laws will be ripped up by Liz Truss in this week’s fiscal event in a move that could see tens of thousands of new homes built on protected land.
Ministers have drawn up plans for new “investment zones” that will hand businesses tax breaks and encourage house building in areas of high economic growth.
Whitehall sources said the zones will be distributed across the UK.
In an attempt to encourage more building, The Telegraph understands ministers will relax environmental protections within the zones, including EU directives that protect newts, toads and bats from developers.
Officials in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have drawn up a list of green rules that could be relaxed in investment zones.
Ministers are preparing to relax “nutrient neutrality”, which dictates that councils cannot give planning permission to developments that could result in an increase in the levels of phosphate and nitrate levels in water.
Ms Truss vowed last month to axe “Brussels red tape” on the environment, arguing that it has “stalled” housing projects.
The Housebuilding Federation say that removing this requirement could allow the development of around 100,000 homes across the country – a third of the Government’s annual target for new houses.
The Habitats Directive, another EU regulation, could also be paused within investment zones, along with rules on “water neutrality” – which can prevent housebuilding if there is a perceived impact on small aquatic animals, like snails.
Other environmental regulations that are in line for being axed include “recreation mitigation zones” which can block developers from starting building projects that might lead to “recreational” pressure on local woodland.
The move will likely result in tens of thousands of new homes being built in green areas that have previously been shielded from development by environmental regulations, which one Government source said would be unpopular with many voters in the South of England.
“It will be very difficult. In the Red Wall, the housing issue isn’t as acute, but in the South where it is, Tory MPs’ majorities are at stake,” they said.
Now ministers have decided to allow further building in specific green areas if they expect that it will produce economic growth.
Robert Jenrick, the former housing secretary, was previously forced to row back on his attempts to overhaul planning laws following a revolt from Conservative backbenchers, who feared losing their seats because of anger about house building in green areas.
In many “Blue Wall” constituencies in the South of England, the Conservatives are under threat from the Liberal Democrats, who have campaigned against further development of green land.
A second Government source said that while scrapping laws designed to protect wildlife would encourage construction, it may “make people squeal” about the effect on the environment.
A plan to “compensate” the environment by creating new green areas in place of land developed within investment zones was discussed at an early stage but has since been scrapped, the Telegraph understands.
Government insiders say Ms Truss’s brand of “levelling up” differs from projects designed by Mr Johnson and Rishi Sunak, which were largely focussed on giving government grants to councils in deprived areas.
Under the new investment zone policy, any council across the UK will be allowed to apply to create an area where regulations are relaxed and businesses will pay less tax, including local authorities that are already wealthy. [err zero takers if less business rates – does she not know most local authorities are on verge of bankruptcy because of the graph of doom, unless wonga and more powers to deliver new development good design are part of the incentive the policy will be a spectacular flop from out of the gate]
“It’s a supply-side approach to it. It’s all about creating areas for the private sector to invest in,” said a Whitehall source. [so what is the investment problem with the poorest cities in England – like Nottingham – is it lack of investment problem? And if so what is the incentive to be? The problem is in so many poor cities like my own Sheffield, or Luton say, is that lack of investment is caused by high spatial concentration of those with a lack of money of a poor low paid and/or unemployed populace, so rationally the libertarian strategy would be to raise the minimum wage and welfare so market signals of a free market economy creates a virtuous circle of capital creation, housebuilding and investment so the state doesn’t need to pick winners or direct investment Stalin style; you see Truss isn’t even a competant free marketeer].
The source added that the policy would eventually result in poorer areas of the UK becoming richer, but that economic growth would be required first. [eventually when when the policy will never pass, there will be no takers and there is no theory or understanding of the investment gap, eventually when 20-never].
Have I ever been so angry on planning stupidity, basically Truss and Awakening make Pickles and Gove look like planning geniuses, when we all thought botched planning reform could never sink even lower.
The Grasslands Trust team blog about nature conservation and broader environmental issues, always with a focus on our threatened grassland habitats. The views in this blog do not necessarily reflect those of the Trust.