The IPC goes live

The Infrastructure Planning Commission goes live on Monday 1 March.  After that date applications for energy and transport projects which are classed as "nationally significant infrastructure projects" under The Planning Act 2008 must be made to the IPC.
The IPC was established under the 2008 Act and has been open for business since October 2009.  Its purpose is to consider and, in some cases, decide applications for a new form of infrastructure consent - known as a development consent order.
An important part of the new consenting regime is the publication and designation of National Policy Statements which set out the need for certain types of infrastructure, these policy statements being central to the consideration of applications by the IPC.  The National Policy Statements for ports and energy appeared in draft form in November 2009.
The new regime makes radical changes to the consenting regime for infrastructure projects, with heavy emphasis on "front loading" and consultation with stakeholders, not least, local authorities.
The much awaited Planning Green Paper from the Conservatives, entitled "Open Source Planning" was published on 22 February 2010.  The Conservatives would replace the IPC with a specialist unit for dealing with major infrastructure projects that would operate within a revised departmental structure that includes the Planning Inspectorate.  Otherwise, the regime seems likely to remain broadly intact, although the Conservatives' long held position is that applications for major infrastructure projects should be determined by the Secretary of State and not the IPC.
To find out more about the new regime, readers are referred to the book on the subject published by our partners, Bircham Dyson Bell, entitled "Practical Guide to National Infrastructure Projects", published by Butterworths (see HTF Members' special offer below).

Mark Challis
For and on behalf of Bircham Dyson Bell LLP


TitlePractical Guide to National Infrastructure Projects
AuthorBircham Dyson Bell
Product CodePLNIR
Price£130.00 + p&p
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