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Government to put hi-tech firms before environment

Great Crested Newt to make way for hi-tech developents

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The government could be willing to sacrifice the protection of environmentally sensitive areas in order to promote the development of high-tech companies. It is launching a six-month review on how planning policy could be improved to create "clusters" of hi-tech industries. In short this will see normal planning restrictions go to the wall to enable business parks and other developments to be built on green-field sites. The government wants to do all it can to promote hi-tech industries in the UK believing that this is essential to secure the future economic success of the country. But environmentalists have warned of the dire consequences for endangered species in the UK. News of the government's review of planning priorities -- which should produce a policy statement next summer – has coincided with a critical report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature warning that a number of species in the UK could be in danger of extinction. The shorthaired bumblebee is already presumed extinct while the skylark, water vole and the song thrush are all on the endangered list, the report warned. ®

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