David Cameron has come under attack for slashing 80,000 pages of environmental guidance – a move that he claims will make it easier and cheaper for home builders to meet environmental obligations.
In a speech given to the Federation of Small Businesses on Monday, the prime minister outlined plans that identified that around 3,000 regulations needed to be either amended or scrapped.
The plans represent just a small part of the government’s deregulation agenda, which the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) claims simplifies regulations for business, and adds that a further tens of thousands of pages “face the chop”.
Cameron said, “Supporting business is a crucial part of our long-term economic plan, creating jobs and security for all. That is why, among so many other things, I have insisted on slashing needless regulation.
“We will be the first government in modern history to have reduced – rather than increased – domestic business regulation during our time in office.”
Paul King, chief executive at the UK Green Building Council, described Cameron’s move as “utterly reprehensible”.
He added, “It is the same poisonous political rhetoric from No 10, devaluing environmental regulation in a slash and burn manner. These words are not only damaging and irresponsible, but misrepresent the wishes of so many modern businesses, both large and small.”
Proposed changes to the way businesses and home building is conducted by the government have recently been attacked. Last November, a committee of MPs said that plans to wind down the Code for Sustainable Homes would get rid of local choice and benefit “developers who want to build homes on the cheap”.
Greenpeace campaigner Anna Jones said, “In a naked attempt to woo the UKIP tendency in his party, David Cameron today said he would be scrapping or amending over 3,000 environmental regulations, including those governing safe waste disposal and pollution prevention.
“These are rules that have protected communities from environmental risks in towns and villages up and down this nation for years and few will welcome the loss of this protection.”