Infrastructure Bill

The Infrastructure Bill, if it is successfully passed through parliament, will be in place sometime during 2015. Our chance is now to change what is proposed to become UK law, and there are some really alarming propositions made by our Government on what to include in it.

Our MPs are listening to us right now, as they are protecting their jobs in the General Election so it’s an ideal time to contact them and express your views. There is much to be concerned about!

As George Mombiot puts it “can any more destructive and regressive measures be crammed into one bill?… a random collection of demands by lobbyists shoved in, in the hope that no one notices.

Below is a summary of concerns relating to the bill.

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Implications for the natural world:

  • Suppresses the natural world by classifying any species that is “not ordinarily resident in or a regular visitor to Great Britain in a wild state” as a non-native and subject to potential eradication and control. This would mean that attempts to re-establish species which have become extinct here, such as the short-haired bumblebees or red kites, would in future be thwarted.
  • Classifies animals as they become extinct as “non-native”
  • Introduces the possibility of a backdoor route to selling off the public forest estate
  • Further deregulates the town and country planning system, making it even harder for those who wish to protect natural beauty and public amenities

Implications for climate change:

  • Brings in a legal requirement for the government to maximise the economic recovery of petroleum from the UK’s continental shelf. This is directly at odds with another legal requirement: to minimise the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions
  • Promotes new road building, even though the total volume of road traffic has flat-lined since 2002.
  • It weakens the protection of wildlife, ancient woodlands and treasured landscapes.
  • It forbids any consideration of climate change during planning inquiries: motorways will officially produce no more carbon dioxide than cycle paths
  • Abandons the governments commitment to make all new homes zero-carbon by 2016

Fracking:

  • Exempts fracking companies from the trespass law. This means that fracking companies can extract gas from underneath your home, leaving behind a cocktail of toxic and radioactive substances that there is no way of removing.

Further information:

Here are a collection of articles which explain more about the Infrastructure Bill: