Tom Keighley

Member Article

Infrastructure and planning needs to be streamlined

The CBI has called for further improvements to major infrastructure planning in the UK, to help accelerate investment and speed up decision-making.

In a new report, the group has called for the Government to make the planning system as effective as possible in order to attract £200bn of investment needed in our infrastructure by 2015.

‘Minor measures, major results - Fine-tuning the major infrastructure planning system,’ calls for simplification of the non-planning consent landscape and introduce more flexibility and a sense of urgency.

Dr Neil Bentley, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “Businesses approve of the Government’s reforms to our major infrastructure planning system to streamline planning decisions, but it’s vital we don’t lose momentum while these significant changes take hold.

“Too many applications are still at the initial stages, at a time when we need major investment in our infrastructure.

“We’re suggesting ways the Government can fine-tune the system to spur on much-needed new infrastructure, such as energy plants, railway lines, airports, roads, ports and waste facilities.

“Investing in major infrastructure projects will bring big rewards for our economy, with new jobs and growth. But investors both at home and abroad must have the confidence that the planning system will deliver timely decisions, so the Government needs to act now.

“Waiting for a much fuller review in 2014 would be a lost opportunity.”

52 major proposed projects are currently in the pipeline, including wind farms, nuclear power stations and key transport upgrades, which have not even reached application stage.

The CBI recommends the Government should define its remaining National Policy Statements, continue to simplify and streamline non-planning consents under the Penfold recommendations, allow developers to be involved in training case workers and encouraging case workers to provide non-binding pro-active advice to applicants at pre-application stage.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Tom Keighley .

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