My last post on the Infrastructure Bill is here. NB: the Commons Library Note linked from my earlier post has been since updated (20 October 2014) and provision for a right of access for shale gas/hydraulic fracturing is now included in the Infrastructure Bill.
The Bill has cleared the House of Lords and returned to the House of Commons.
The Infrastructure Bill 2014-2015 makes provision for a range of matters, including: (updated)
(A) Environmental control of plant and animal species (Part 3)
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 will be amended to allow species control agreements (between regulators and land owners) and orders to be made by regulators in England and Wales (as they can be in Scotland) for invasive non-native species of plant or animal, or for a species of animal that is no longer normally present in Great Britain.
A species is non-native if it is listed in Part 1 or Part 2 of Schedule 9, or (if an animal) it’s natural range does not include any part of Great Britain or it has been introduced to Great Britain.
The regulators will include Natural England, the Environment Agency, and the Forestry Commissioners in England, and the Natural Resources Body for Wales in Wales.
The definition of owner (who can enter into species control agreements) includes leaseholders.
The Secretary of State will be obliged to issue a Code of a Practice in relation to species control agreements and orders in England. The Welsh Ministers must issue a similar Code of Practice in Wales.
(B) Shale Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing: right to use deep-level land (Sections 38 & 39)
This previously was not included in the Bill, whilst consultation was occurring. It is now included as Section 38. Section 39 clarifies this right, and confirms the right to use may extend to using any chemical. Sections 38 and 39 also apply to the Crown.
The Bill as brought from the Lords is here.