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CPRE reaction to new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill and consultation

10 May 2018

CPRE welcomes the government’s consultation and announcement of a new Environmental Principles and Governance Bill today (10 May). This Bill will be a vital step in the Government fulfilling its commitment to leave the environment in a better state that it inherited it.

To do this the Bill must ensure that environmental principles, such as ‘sustainable development’, which are the basis of protecting our countryside, are enshrined in law when we leave the EU.

The Bill will create a new environmental governance body which must be given powers to hold the Government to account on the state of our natural world. This means it needs the powers to initiate legal action and ensure implementation of the Government’s 25 year Environment Plan.

CPRE looks forward to responding to the consultation and pressing the Government to make sure this Bill not only protects but enhances our countryside through an effective planning system, a new agricultural policy that delivers public goods and a properly implemented 25 year environment plan.

Belinda Gordon, head of rural affairs at the Campaign to Protect Rural England said: 'We welcome this consultation and watchdog with open arms, and we’re pleased that it covers the key areas. For all the Government’s warm words on the natural environment, this Bill and the effectiveness of this body will be the test of its commitment to a greener future. Legislation to protect and enhance our countryside will count for nothing unless this body is truly independent and has real "teeth".'

The consultation closes on 2 August. It is expected that the Environmental Principles and Governance Bill will be published in draft in the autumn, with the measures being introduced in time for the end of the implementation period in December 2020.

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