UK planning rules to incorporate protection

Developers will no longer need a separate licence for projects in areas protected under the EU's 1992 habitats directive, under a draft review of planning regulations issued yesterday by the UK environment ministry. The planning process will be made "simpler and more efficient" by integrating the requirements of the directive, the government claims. "We welcome this in principle, but are concerned that local authorities may not have access to the ecological expertise necessary to determine the licences," said a spokesman for the Royal society for the protection of birds. See press release.

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