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Help us challenge increase in charges for EA permits to carry out essential work in rivers

21.12.17

Habitat work

The Angling Trust is seeking help to challenge recent proposals by the Environment Agency which could severely damage the ability of angling clubs and others to improve the habitat of their local rivers for fish.

The Agency has published a consultation which proposes increases to the charges for permits to carry out habitat improvement work such as angling clubs and rivers trusts have been doing for years.

For example, a permit to place woody debris into the river channel currently costs £50 but would increase to £764 - more than the work would actually cost to carry out. Similar massive increases are proposed for permits for fish passes and off-channel fry refuges.

The Angling Trust has lodged a formal objection to the scale of the proposed increases but it would be most helpful if as many people as possible replied individually to the consultation, which closes on January 26th.

You can read the consultation document here
.

It's quite a daunting document, however there's only one or two sections that are directly relevant. We have drafted a response below you may wish to use. Just copy and paste it into 'section 8.1'. You will also need to fill out sections 8.3 and 8.4.

Suggested Response

"I am writing to object to the scale of proposed increases for charges for permits to carry out habitat improvement works of benefit to fish stocks in my local rivers. Throughout this consultation there is distinction made between environmental 'improvement' and commercial gain. There are many community groups, angling organisations, river trusts and wildlife groups who, with limited funds, are currently making a very real and important contribution towards improving rivers and streams and the implementation of the Water Framework Directive on failing waterbodies.”

Other key points you could make are:

  1. The proposed charges are extortionately high. Far too great to reasonably expect small organisations to pay up front, especially for small scale community based work relying on charitable funding.
  2. The charges imply that there will be financial gain from river improvement – for the projects River Trusts and similar organisations work on this is not true – the benefit is to the wider ecology and society - and to meet Water Framework Directive objectives.
  3. The charges effectively penalise people for doing the right thing.
  4. The charges will deter anyone thinking about making improvements to their river from making any contact with the EA. This will mean that the expertise and advice available will not be accessed and poor quality unconsented works will result.
  5. The current ‘exemptions’ are confusing but improving the exemptions so that they are workable would be a positive way forward.
  6. A two tier charging system with lower rates for charities and works carried out for public benefit would be welcome.
Thank-you for your support.

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
Tel: 0343 5077006 (For Membership enquiries select Option 1) |
Calls to our 0343 number are charged at the same rate as normal landline numbers.
Office hours are Mon - Thu 9.00-5.00 and Fri 4.30. Please leave a message if you call outside these hours or email us.
Email: admin@anglingtrust.net
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Angling Trust Limited is a company limited by guarantee, company number 05320350

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