I agree John, the only hope now is that enough pressure and/ore encouragement can be put on Viridor to manage the restoration properly. The recent drives by Mark Avery and Chris Packham to encourage front line people power conservation is the best hope I think and for the conservation e-NGOs to get behind that rather than (or even not just) the corporations. RSPB have started RSPB campaigners so seem to be moving off their non-political fence sitting (How can anyone be non-political in conservation- its a political issue as is taking money from corporations like Viridor credits to fund conservation - effectively the RSPB and e-NGOs are acting as the PR vehicle for a corporation- so its nonsense this non-political balderdash- they're anti-nature capitalist organisation facilitators unless they balance things out by getting behind popular movements too). Nothing wrong with taking money from these corporations to use it against them elsewhere! Anyway good to see the RSPB moving towards this campaigning and they should be getting behind the Avery/Packham people push on the Hen Harrier issue and also the exciting possibility that Mark Avery has mentioned in Birdwatch magazine of the Hen Harrier becoming a symbol for front line people power conservation- including I'd like to think taking on corporations like Viridor that are destroying our nature reserve network; any areas that have nature conservation designations should be fiercely defended against corporations. Where the market and the planning system has failed that's where the people need to step in.
I think enough public pressure needs to be put on organisations like Viridor to the point where it starts effecting them financially. At the end of the day the reason for them defaulting on their obligations is presumably for bottom line cosmetics (even though in the long run this kind of short term strategy leads to an own goal for society at large and therefore Viridor too- they're part of society so by bringing down the quality of environment and the economy that supports is bringing themselves down too). If public/ pressure can start to address this market failure its a win win for everyone involved. Its encouraging to see groups like this https://www.facebook.com/350.org/videos/10154191377177708/ beginning to mobilise large numbers of people to disrupt production of development sites- its this kind of disruption which will help affect the bottom line of these offenders. Not just this approach too (which seems to be unacceptable to a lot of people in conservation- why?? but seems to be the case) but also making more and more noise about the way that companies like Viridor can get away with destroying nature and local communities by more petitioning signing. more lobbying MPs for whatever that's worth (the corporations have the power not the MPs), demonstration and personally I think co-coordinating some of that petition signing direct into planning portals with regards to planning permissions- thats where those signatures are really really important. I'd even say we should block Viridor phone lines and computer systems with thousands and thousands of complaints but again I never seem to get much support for this kind of extremism!!??- complaining is what the British do best- why not make good use of the collective skill! ) To me it seems the best and justified way of making a real difference. I'm confident that the solution to improving the situation at Beddington Farmlands is in theory reactively straight forward if we can mobilise enough public pressure against Viridor. Beddington Farmlands could be used as model, where a strategy and some kind of organisation is developed that can be replicated to other areas where corporations are doing something similar on the protected network for nature across the UK- particularly the SSSis, LNRs and SINCs which are less well defended than the SPAs and Ramsar sites (which the e-NGOs can handle better. People power conservation needs to step up to protect the finer grained network.
Without that kind of people pressure and mobilization I'm also confident that all is lost and yes I agree with precedents like this where a corporation can quite literally get away with murder (of sorts in an ecological sense)- there isn't much hope for the future.