Ministers have promised to clarify the Government’s proposals for a Major Infrastructure Planning Unit inside the Planning Inspectorate by the end of the year alongside further details of transitional arrangements as the Infrastructure Planning Commission is wound up over the next two years.
That pledge was highlighted in the UK Government’s first-ever infrastructure plan, just published, which highlighted the need for a fast-track planning approach for nationally significant infrastructure - projects such as power stations and reservoirs.
A similar commitment was also made on the publication of the remaining National Policy Statements for those sectors other than energy, where a revised NPS was published in October.
The infrastructure document promised that the Localism Bill, scheduled for publication in November, would provide a “radical reboot of the planning system” which would facilitate sustainable development and the provision of infrastructure.
Other reforms referred to in the document include the consolidation of existing planning policies into a single document. The document pledged a full Government response to the Penfold Review on non-planning consents in November and an update in spring 2011 indicating progress on implementation.
The document stressed that the Government would commit £2bn on flood and coastal erosion risk management over the next four years. This would reduce risks from flooding and coastal erosion for 145,000 households by March 2015, the plan stated.
In a separate but related development, the Institution for Civil Engineers called for a more innovative approach to managing flood risk after pointing out that that capital expenditure pledged for the next four years was less than the £2.15bn committed over the three years 2008-2011.
28 October 2010