Defra has announced its continued intention to repeal the Site Waste Management Plan (SWMP) regulations, despite the fact responses to its consultation on the repeal were split down the middle.
Defra noted in its report on reponses from the consultation that SWMPs were “now quite embedded in the industry”. But it said it still intended to scrap the regulations in line with its original proposal as part of the Government’s 2012 Red Tape Challenge, an initiative designed to remove unnecessary legislation affecting business.
Under the SWMP Regulations 2008, all projects over £300,000 needed to have a plan in place to show how construction waste would be handled. The regulations appled only to projects in England. They will now be repealed from 1 October 2013.
The report revealed that 49% of respondents to the consultation backed the Government’s desire to repeal the regulations, while 49% disagreed. Some 3% of responses on the subject were neutral.
Respondents who agreed with the proposed repeal of SWMPs cited the administrative burden of the regulations, lack of enforcemen and a lack of engagement with designers and architects, who they said could make the greatest waste reductions.
The report said: “WRAP is hoping to address this weakness in the supply chain with a new responsibility deal that focuses on the designing-out of waste.”
Those who disagreed with the Government said that if SWMPs were properly enforced, they would bring greater gains. Some also said SWMPs helped as an administative tool for waste reduction.
In addition, 73% of respondents said they would continue to use SWMPs or a similar tool if the regulations were repealed.
The waste industry is concerned about the impact of scrapping the regulations. Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) chief executive Steve Lee told MRW in June: “In these tough economic times, the Government should be encouraging business to realise the financial benefits of resource efficiency and waste prevention, and the role of SWMPs in reducing the impact of fly-tipping on the public purse must also be considered.”
The consultation opened in June and closed in July.