Defra is due to see a 15 per cent reduction
in its resource spending between 2015 and 2020, although more civil servants are being drafted into the department. The EU environment, agriculture and fisheries acquis are extensive, and it is unclear
whether Defra will be able to cope with any additional workload associated with, first, the transposition of that body of EU law into domestic law, and then the monitoring of existing policy and creation of new policy. Most of this effort has happened at EU level thus far.
It is not clear whether additional resources have been identified for Defra agencies. Although the Conservative manifesto committed to increasing the resources available to Natural England to provide advice to farmers, there has been no indication from Defra as to when, or if this, will be honoured.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has been instructed
to make overall resource savings of 29 per cent by 2019-20, compared to 2015 levels, through better financial management and further efficiencies. DCLG is the principal department in respect of EU-derived planning legislation including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), and resourcing is expected to remain challenging in terms of converting that body of EU law into domestic law and effectively implementing changes arising from the EU 2014 Amending EIA Directive. For example, in England there are 35 regulations pertaining to EIA, administered by a range of different government departments and agencies.