Pollution could increase as cutbacks bite

Pollution and damage to property could increase because of cuts to public sector funding. That’s the message from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) who want urgent […]

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By Sumit Bose

Pollution and damage to property could increase because of cuts to public sector funding. That’s the message from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) who want urgent action to address cuts in funding for the brownfield sector.

They say Government budget cuts mean councils and the Environment Agency are suffering from a lack of manpower to address contaminated land issues and could end up with little scrutiny of development plans on brownfield sites. The risk of more pollution and fewer convictions looms.

Gary Winder, Chair of CIWEM’s Contaminated Land Network said: “If the Government keeps cutting guidance and regulation and at the same time reduces the amount of support from contaminated land specialists in the public sector, we have the potential to create some disastrous schemes that lead to polluted and damaged land which may end up in high profile court cases.

“We strongly urge the Government to rethink the economic cuts that impact on brownfield redevelopment and to ensure that there is sufficient legislation and guidance in place to protect against a massive potential increase in inappropriate and unregulated redevelopments in the UK.”