UK: Planning Act Blog 200: Two NPSs May Be Dropped, Other News And A Christmas Champagne Competition!

Last Updated: 22 December 2010
Article by Angus Walker

This is entry number 200, first published on 21 December 2010, of a blog on the Planning Act 2008 infrastructure planning and authorisation regime. Click here for a link to the whole blog. If you would like to be notified when the blog is updated, with links sent by email, click here.

Today's entry reports on two written statments from the government, how the Rookery South application will be examined, and a 200th edition / Christmas competition.

The government issued two relevant written statements yesterday - one on major infrastructure planning reform and one on the National Planning Policy Framework - something expected but absent from the Localism Bill. They can be found here and here.

Major infrastructure planning reform statement

The first statement says many things that we knew already but adds some new information. First, it is accompanied by a 'work plan', which is essentially a short update of the previous series of 'route maps'. The work plan can be found here.

It sets out which Secretary of State will make decisions on which applications. For energy applications it will be the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; for transport applications it will be the Secretary of State for Transport; but before it gets too predictable, for hazardous waste applications it will be the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and for water and waste water applications it will be the Secretaries of State for Communities and Local Government and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, jointly.

The timetable for decision-making will be 'unchanged' at 12 months from the start of examination. Actually it would have been nine months under the old system once the relevant NPS had been finalised, so strictly speaking it is longer. I feel like Winston Smith noticing that the chocolate ration has been reduced rather than increased. Nevertheless, the government is going to look at ways to speed the process up even further. The government will also try to clear the backlog of 64 applications that it received prior to the start of the new regime in March 2010 but has not yet decided.

There is some news on National Policy Statements (NPSs). The six energy NPSs, revised drafts issued in October, are likely to be approved in spring 2011. The waste water NPS, issued in draft in November, is likely to be approved in summer 2011. Waste water will be 'switched on', in terms of applications having to be made to the IPC, in April 2011 (one date that has not changed since before the election). The Hazardous Waste NPS is likely to be issued in April 2011, to be approved in early 2012. The need for a Water Supply NPS will be considered once the water companies have finalised their water resources management plans in early 2011 - in other words, this NPS may not be forthcoming after all.

The Ports NPS will be approved 'during 2011', and the National Networks NPS (road and rail) will be published 'in 2011', so the DfT is giving itself rather a large amount of leeway at the moment. A more precise timetable will be published 'soon'. There will not be an Airports NPS after all; instead there will be a scoping document published in March 2011 and a draft policy framework in March 2012.

Parliamentary approval for NPSs is contained in the Localism Bill, but the government will seek this even for the NPSs that will predate the Localism Bill being enacted - i.e. the six energy NPSs, the Ports NPS and the Waste Water NPS, and perhaps the Hazardous Waste NPS too.

National planning policy framework

The government intends to combine the 1000 pages of existing Planning and Minerals Policy Statements and Guidance into a single document, the National Planning Policy Framework. It will have a localist approach, only deliver government objectives where relevant, proportionate and effective, and will be user-friendly and accessible. It will be published for consultation in 2011, but first the government is asking us what it should contain. Answers on a postcard to Alan Scott at CLG, or in an email to planningframework@communities.gsi.gov.uk by 28 February 2011.

Of particular relevance to infrastructure planning, the National Policy Statement regime will remain outside the national planning policy framework for now.

Rookery South update

It has been announced that the preliminary meeting for the first project to be considered by the Infrastructure Planning Commission, a proposed energy from waste plant in Bedfordshire, will take place on Monday 17 January. The meeting will start at 10 a.m. and will be held at the Park Inn Hotel, St Mary's Street, Bedford.

A preliminary meeting is the equivalent to a 'pre-inquiry meeting' before a public inquiry, but because there is a presumption of no hearings, a different name is used. It does not deal with substantive issues, but is concerned with the timing and procedure to be followed during the six-month examination period.

The date means that the examination of the application must conclude by 17 July, although because that is a Sunday, the preliminary timetable that lead Commissioner Paul Hudson has published uses Friday 15 July as the deadline. A decision on the application must be made by 17 October, being nine months later than the meeting, if the energy NPSs have been finalised by then, or 17 January 2012 if not. Calculating the various deadlines in the Planning Act and associated guidance suggests that the shortest time a preliminary meeting could be held after an application is made is about three months later, but this meeting is more than five months after the application was made on 5 August, meaning that the whole process could take up to 17 months.

The letter issued to interested parties can be found here and makes interesting reading for those involved in this and other proposed applications.

It sets out the preliminary timetable and other matters that will be considered at the preliminary meeting. Points to note: the panel of three commissioners, referred to as the Examining Authority, or ExA, does not consider that any issue-specific hearings need to be held (but their minds could be changed at the preliminary meeting). There is still the possibility of open floor hearings and compulsory acquisition hearings. Only five days have been set aside for each of these, however, so they are not expected to be extensive, despite over 1000 representations having been made.

Local authorities please note that the deadline for submitting a Local Impact Report is provisionally set at 28 February 2011, just over two months away. This is also the deadline for all full written representations to be made.

An indication of the ExA's more inquisitorial role is given by a timetabled entry for publication of its first round of questions by 21 January, on which comments can be submitted until 28 February. There is then a second round starting on 11 April, with a comment deadline of 9 May. Indeed, the letter concludes with a statement of five issues that ExA thinks are the main ones:

  • air quality,
  • compulsory acquisition,
  • landscape and visual impact,
  • traffic and transportation, and
  • waste recovery and management.

Christmas competition

To celebrate the 200th blog entry and the festive season, here is a quiz on infrastructure planning with a prize of a bottle of champagne for the first all-correct, or the most correct, answer drawn out of the hat after the closing date of 11.59 p.m. on 4 January 2011. Only those eligible to receive champagne can enter, and employees and partners of Bircham Dyson Bell are also unable to enter - sorry guys. I will also only accept the first entry from each person.

The answer to each question is a number, and to help you the numbers are in increasing order. The answers are supposed not to be immediately googlable, but they should all be found somewhere on the blog. Where it says 'so far' that means up to today's date of 21 December. Please enter by sending an email with 'Blog competition' as the subject to anguswalker@bdb-law.co.uk. Good luck!

  1. How many applications has the Infrastructure Planning Commission accepted so far?
  2. What is the only number of commissioners that cannot consider an application?
  3. How many nominated sites for nuclear power stations are not in the latest nuclear power NPS draft?
  4. How many National Policy Statements have had one or more drafts published so far?
  5. The Planning Act regime applies to how many different types of project?
  6. How many IPC commissioners are there?
  7. How many projects are currently listed on the IPC project list (including withdrawn applications)?
  8. Which clause of the Localism Bill abolishes the IPC?
  9. How many representations were received on the first application to the IPC?
  10. In which year is the IPC expected to be abolished?

The Planning Act blog is now going to have a seasonal break but will be back during the week beginning 4 January 2011. Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all our readers!

Previous entry 199: more energy NPS scrutiny, plus Localism Bill news

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Angus Walker
 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.