The executive director of the Environmental Services Association (ESA) has expressed concerns about permitting capacity at the Environment Agency, in response to the prime minister’s economic recovery plan.
Yesterday, 30 June, Boris Johnson pledged £5 billion towards a “new deal” to build homes and infrastructure as part of the government’s coronavirus recovery plans.
In response, the ESA’s Jacob Hayler said that the environmental services sector stands ready to help the government “build, build, build” and to help create a fairer, greener and more resilient economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis.
However, he said concerns over permitting capacity at the Environment Agency has already seen projects delayed, and has called for the removal of “significant barriers” in the regulatory process.
Mr Hayler said: “To unlock our investment potential in green infrastructure, our sector needs clarity over the final shape of the Government’s Resources & Waste Strategy this year and the removal of significant barriers in the regulatory process caused by a lack of permitting capacity at the Environment Agency, which is currently resulting in vital projects being unnecessarily delayed for months and, in some cases, years.
“What should be a fifteen-week process can currently take closer to fifteen months and unless permitting capacity is increased, this will constrain our ability to support a near-term green recovery to the fullest extent.”
“What should be a fifteen-week process can currently take closer to fifteen months”
In the statement, Mr Hayler also explained that members of the ESA have invested more than £5 billion in new recycling, waste treatment, sustainable energy and sanitation infrastructure over the past decade, “and are poised to deliver millions of pounds of further investment in shovel-ready projects and green jobs around the country”.
These are based “particularly in regions in need of assistance to ‘level up’ the UK”, he explained.
Source: letsrecycle.com Waste Managment