The IPC will cease to exist on 1 April and its work will be taken over by a restructured Planning Inspectorate.
There will be a seamless transition to a new National Infrastructure Directorate, created within the Planning Inspectorate, which will support the examination of major infrastructure applications. There are currently 64 projects on the growing list of national infrastructure projects, with 10 applications at various stages of examination.
The main change introduced by the Localism Act will be that the relevant Secretary of State will be the decision maker on all national infrastructure applications for development consent. The Secretary of State will have three months to make a decision, following a recommendation from the Planning Inspectorate.
The National Infrastructure Directorate will continue to be based in Bristol, in offices already shared with the Planning Inspectorate. Phone numbers and email addresses will be unchanged. The new web address will be:
Sir Michael Pitt, Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate and current Chair of the IPC, said of the transition: “We have a strong leadership team overseeing the transition and have been working hard over many months to ensure that it will be business as usual. I would like to echo the assurances given by Government Ministers that there will be no disruption to any projects notified to the IPC under the Planning Act 2008 process when these changes take effect.”
From April onwards, IPC Commissioners will become part of a single team of Inspectors led by Peter Burley, the Chief Planning Inspector, who set out some of the challenges facing the Inspector workforce: “As the number of nationally significant infrastructure projects grows and more applications are accepted for examination, we need to ensure that we train some of our experienced Inspectors to undertake national infrastructure work.
“In addition, we are losing a number of Inspectors to retirement. So we are now advertising for highly-motivated professionals with expertise in planning and/or other land use-related disciplines, to help deliver our appeals casework. This is an exciting opportunity to use your expertise to contribute to sustainable development at a time when the Government is modernising the planning system in England and Wales.”
Closing date for applications is 18 April 2012.
28 March 2012