The Chancellor George Osborne has announced that he will cut £37m from DEFRA’s budget by 2015 to help pay for infrastructure projects including an extensive road-building plan and HS2, the £40bn railway from London to Birmingham.

In contrast to DEFRA, departments such as HM Revenue and Customs and International Development will not see their incomes reduced. DEFRA has already had more than its share of previous cuts, having had £162m cut from its 2010-11 budget.

The announcement came less that a week after planning minister Nick Boles announced that planning permission for a wide range of industrial and commercial developments would in future be decided at the national, not local level. Mr Boles has also said the need for new housing could mean building on “environmentally uninteresting” fields and in designated green belt areas.

The rest of this article appears in the 3rd July issue of Shooting Times.

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