Environment Act

Applies to EnglandApplies to WalesApplies to Scotland

Title: Environment Act

Category: England, Wales and Scotland - Law

Date: 1995

Reference: Chapter 25 [Full text]

General Description:

The Environment Act 1995 updates much of the earlier legislation on the areas that it extends to. The Act comprises:

Part 1 the Environment Agency and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency,

Part II Contaminated Land and Abandoned Mines,

Part III National Parks,

Part IV Air Quality,

Part V Miscellaneous, General and Supplemental Provisions (e.g. waste, mineral planning permissions, hedgerows, drainage, fisheries etc.).

The Act provides for the establishment of a body corporate to be known as the Environment Agency and in Scotland the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. To provide for the transfer of functions, properties, rights and liabilities to those bodies and conferring of other functions to them. The Environment Agency will be formed by the merger of the National Rivers Authority, Her Majesties Inspectorate of Pollution and the Local Waste Authorities. The agency will consist of at least eight members, three shall be appointed by the Minister and the rest by the secretary of state.

Part III of the Act makes fundamental changes to the system of care and control of National Parks implementing a series of recommendations and reports. The purposes of National Parks are reformulated, government and other public bodies have a duty to have regard to the purposes of the Parks. The National Park Authorities are freed from local authority control and in certain circumstances a new Park Authority may become the sole planning authority.

Powers are provided to regulate for the protection of 'important' hedgerows. It is likely that notification will be required prior to the removal of hedgerows. Provision is also made for the establishment of schemes that will benefit nature conservation and the promotion of enjoyment of the countryside by the public.

Pertinence to Agriculture: Agricultural Pollution, Conservation, Waste, Statutory Nuisance

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