Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Infrastructure Planning System Needs To Be More User-friendly To Ensure Over-complicated Applications Do Not Deter İnvestors

In its response to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consultation, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) believes that weaknesses in the current draft of the National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) could render Government’s intention to simplify planning guidance and make sustainable development the purpose of the planning system unachievable.

ICE says that while it supports Government’s overall aims to reform the planning system, over-simplifying the national planning policy at a time where many local authorities do not have a local plan to fall back on could be detrimental to the delivery of important ‘larger than local’ infrastructure.

ICE raised concerns that areas of the policy that relate to infrastructure, particularly the transport planning policy, are undermined by the use of vague phrases such as ‘where practical’. It expressed particular concern that valuable gains achieved in coastal defense and management under current planning guidance could be lost due to the excessive reduction of content in this area.

Chair of the ICE localism panel Geoff French said: “It’s essential that we make the planning system more ‘user-friendly’ to ensure over-complicated applications and processing delays do not deter investors as they have done in the past. However we must not over-simplify such important guidance which must deal effectively with nationally and locally significant infrastructure projects.


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