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Defra criticised for construction waste law change

The government has come in for criticism after announcing plans to scrap the need for waste management plans for construction sites.

Defra said the requirement was being scrapped as “evidence and feedback suggest these regulations are ineffective”.

Legislation introduced in 2008 required all construction sites on schemes with a value of more than £300,000 to hold waste management plans.

Defra said no prosecutions had been made; that enforcement was inconsistent and poor; and that the most powerful driver in construction companies dealing with their waste effectively was the landfill tax.

The announcement was made this week as part of a red-tape cutting exercise that ministers say will save UK businesses £1bn.

However Constructing Excellence and the UK Green Building Council are among those opposing the move, our sister title Construction News reports.

Constructing Excellence director Jon de Souza said: “Industry has cut the amount of waste it produces by a third and it is arguable whether this improvement would have been delivered had this legislation not been put in place.

“A huge amount of work has been done by Waste & Resources Action Programme who have engaged really well with industry, and there has been a huge improvement within industry as a result of this legislation.”

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