Environment Agency capacity is a barrier to environment sector role in Government's economic recovery strategy
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.
ESA members 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, particularly in regions in need of assistance to ‘level up’ the UK. We have already written to Government setting out our potential role in the Green Recovery and our pipeline of projects for the next 12 months and beyond.
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.”