Wiser Environment understands that the Environment Agency has commenced a wide-ranging review of its charging regime which may limit their provision of free advice.
Driven by the Cabinet Office’s Regulatory Futures Review, the Environment Agency (EA) is undertaking a Strategic Review of Charges (SRoC). Whilst this is likely to be formally consulted on later this year, informal consultation suggests that a broader scope of cost recovery options are being considered.
Whilst the details are unclear, early indications are that these might include additional charges to cover the assessment of Fire Prevention Plans (FPPs); limiting provision of free advice; in addition to the widely publicised proposal to recover cost from poor performers. The detail of the SRoC may become clearer in the autumn, and though the timetable is yet to be released it is expected that changes to the Environmental Permitting charging scheme will take effect from April 2018.
Watch this space!