The Environment Agency recently published a consultation on future charges for many of the topics they regulate.
Whilst many of the proposals are uncontentious, some threaten to seriously undermine the good work of Trusts, anglers and may others who do small or medium scale environmental works. In particular, some of the charges for small in-stream works permits could rise by 750%. This could result in the oddity for small schemes that the cost of the permit is greater than the cost of the works themselves! And this is for environmental improvement work!
Many organisations have put in some fairly damning comments, and I myself have described the consultation as ‘inept’ when the EA claimed in a recent paper to the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee that:
We are also refining our approach to regulating flood risk activities. The aim is to be more risk-based in our approach, focussing our permitting and compliance on the highest risk activities and enabling more lower risk activities to be undertaken under simpler standard rules permits or to be carried out under exemptions.
I have responded on behalf of our Trust and personally using the following two responses as sources of information and comment:
The Rivers Trust (our ‘parent’ body)
The consultation closes on 28th January and I know that the EA have been swamped with responses. Watch this space, for I’m pretty sire that the current proposals will be scrapped.
25th January 2018