The Planning Act 2008 introduced a new planning regime for nationally significant infrastructure projects. The consultation document seeks views on how the government should determine what is ‘nationally significant’. It invites views on the extent to which the national policy statement meets its aim of providing planning policy for decisions on the development of national networks.
The consultation closes on 26 February 2014.
The consultation document can be seen on the government’s website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/national-road-and-rail-networks-draft-national-policy-statement
The Civil Engineering Contractors Association said that the national policy statement would help speed up the planning process. CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “The Department for Transport rightly describes our transport networks as the backbone of our economy, supporting economic activity and social wellbeing. The government’s vision, of delivering networks with the capacity and connectivity to support national and local economic activity, driving growth and job-creation, can only be delivered if projects are not delayed by drawn-out planning processes.
“The publication of the draft national networks statement is the first step towards a more efficient regime for the planning of major road and rail schemes, speeding up delivery. We look forward to working with the DfT to ensure that the final national policy statement reflects the UK’s long-term transport needs.”