Published in: Wildlife and Countryside Link, 17 October 2011
The Government is failing to deliver on its wildlife and landscape promises – including on the implementation of the Pitt Review – according to a report compiled by 29 of the UK’s leading environmental, wildlife and conservation groups.
The Nature Check study has been published by the umbrella body Wildlife and Countryside Link to Government’s progress on the 16 commitments it has made to the natural environment – part of its claim to be the ‘Greenest Government Ever’
The Government’s lack of progress in implementing the findings of the Pitt Review and its proposed planning reforms both come in for harsh criticism, in the report which is supported by bodies including the RSPB, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the World Wildlife Fund.
Using a traffic light system to rate progress, a “Red light” is given to the Government’s progress on fulfilling the findings of the Pitt Review “to improve our flood defences, and prevent unnecessary building in areas of high flood risk”
“The Government’s implementation of the Pitt Review scores very poorly in this assessment, despite the Environment Secretary’s known interest in water and flood risk issues,” says the report. ” The National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy (FCERM) has failed to capture the critical interdependency between risk management and environmental enhancement, and does not set a tangible level of ambition for the natural environment.”
The report also suggests that the brevity of the National Planning Policy Framework threatens to lead to’ variability in approaches to preventing inappropriate development on floodplains’ and berates the delay in the implementation of regulation, including the proposed National Standards for SUDS.