Funding cuts could seriously harm contaminated land clean-up efforts
Urgent action is needed to address cuts in public funding to the brownfield sector, the Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management (CIWEM) has warned.
The CIWEM's contaminated land network group is concerned that funding cuts could contribute to pollution effects and on-going damage to property and the environment.
It argues that budget cuts are already having major impacts, both on local authorities and the Environment Agency, in terms of a lack of manpower to address contaminated land issues. Some geographic regions no longer have any dedicated experts dealing with these issues, which could lead to a lack of scrutiny of development plans.
CIWEM's contaminated land network chair, Gary Winder, said: "If the Government 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."