Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Ministers to take major infrastructure decisions

  • Comment

Ministers are to take charge of major infrastructure planning applications following the abolition of a quango set up to fast-track decision-making, the Government has announced.

The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) - created only last year by the former Labour government - is to be scrapped in keeping with the Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition agreement.

Major planning projects like offshore windfarms and nuclear power stations will in future be handled by a new Major Infrastructure Planning Unit within the Planning Inspectorate.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said, as a result, elected ministers rather than unelected commissioners would be taking the decisions.

Matt Thomson, head of policy at the Royal Town Planning Institute said he welcomed the latest clarification of ‘function’ following the demise of the IPC. He said: ‘It is critical that there is a specialist body with the skills and expertise to consider proposals for essential major infrastructure projects to allow decisions to be made in the national interest.

‘We believe that people’s confidence in the system will be strengthened by the commitment that final decisions.’

In an indication of further planning reform being considered by the Government, George Osborne said local communities should be offered greater financial incentives in return for nearby planning projects.

The Chancellor said the current system of section 106 agreements - whereby developers offer services or amenities if their applications are approved - was inadequate.

‘At the moment there is absolutely no incentive for a local community to accede to a planning request,’ Osborne said.

‘They see none of the economic gain that comes from planning decisions.

‘We want to change the incentives in planning so there are direct economic benefits for local communities,’ he said, suggesting that that could be done through council tax or business rates.’


  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs

AJ Jobs