Hello to new runways – farewell to countryside
Michael McCarthy, formerly the Independent’s longstanding Environment Editor, now its Environment Columnist, is one of Britain’s leading writers on the environment and the natural world. He has won a string of awards for his work, including Environment Journalist of the Year (three times) and Specialist Writer of the Year in the British Press Awards in 2001. In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of the RSPB for “Outstanding Services to Conservation,” in 2010 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London, and in 2011 the Dilys Breeze Medal of the British Trust for Ornithology. In 2009 McCarthy published Say Goodbye To The Cuckoo (John Murray), a study of Britain’s declining migrant birds.
Thursday 22 March 2012
The debate over a new London airport was unexpectedly re-opened as the Chancellor acknowledged that the Government "must confront" the lack of capacity in the South-east of England.
Saying the UK should not "cut ourselves off from the fastest growing cities in the world", he said the Transport Secretary, Justine Greening, would set out Government thinking this summer.
Heathrow, the world's busiest airport in terms of international passengers, is almost at full capacity – but ministers have ruled out building a third runway because of environmental and residents' concerns. David Cameron has shown growing interest in proposals for an airport in the River Thames estuary, backed by the London Mayor, Boris Johnson.
George Osborne also signalled that the planning system, whose traditional purpose has been to control development in the countryside, was about to be transformed into a tool for encouraging economic growth.
He disclosed that the highly-controversial National Planning Policy Framework would be published by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, next Tuesday, and he made it clear what it would contain – in his own words, "new growth-friendly planning rules".
He confirmed that the much-criticised "presumption in favour of sustainable development" would remain, and he indicated that ordinary countryside would lose the special status it currently has, saying that the new system would protect "our most precious environments".
He made no reference to the review of the Habitats Regulations which prevent large-scale development on wildlife sites of international importance. But it emerged last night that the review will be published this morning.
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Russia has made 'big miscalculation' over Ukraine warns Hague
- 5 Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...