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Scores of environmental regulations are to be slashed under government plans to be announced on Monday, the Guardian has learned.

The rules affected include controls on asbestos, invasive species and industrial air pollution; protection for wildlife and common lands; as well as restrictions on noise nuisance and deadly animal traps.

Ministers are expected to say the cutting of red tape will save businesses £1bn, but the move has shocked campaigners, who argue that the government’s search for economic growth is mistakenly targeting the environment.

The impending announcement follows intense pressure from David Cameron and George Osborne to remove what the chancellor has called the “ridiculous costs” of “endless social and environmental goals”.

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