Today's entry looks at progress on secondary consents and
the designation of the Waste Water National Policy Statement.
The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) - or from next
Monday the Secretary of State - gives consent for nationally
significant infrastructure projects. Such consent does not
necessarily allow a spade to be put in the ground the next day,
partly because various other consents are needed that cannot easily
be combined with the main consent under the Planning Act 2008.
To provide some alleviation of this, the government is asking
the bodies that give decisions on these secondary consents to agree
to do so within 13 weeks of an application being made. This is
partly as a result of pressure to streamline infrastructure
consenting and partly as a follow on from the 'Penfold
review', which looked at the myriad of non-planning consents
and whether and how they were used.
The following agencies and non-departmental public bodies have
published documents giving the 13 week commitment:
This is useful progress and covers the majority of likely
consents. There are other consents that are not issued by one of
these five main bodies, however, such as those given by one of the
country's 177 internal drainage boards. It will be a bit more
of a task to get all them to sign up.
Knowing that you will get a decision within 13 weeks does help
with planning a project, and if consent is applied for by the end
of the examination period for an application under the Planning
Act, then you will almost certainly get a decision on that before
the main decision, which will be about 3-6 months later, so the
secondary consent won't have held up the project.
Something I have mentioned before is that it might be even
better to stitch these consents into the timetable for examining
applications, even though they are given by separate bodies. The
inspector(s) examining a Planning Act application could put an
entry in the timetable that they publish for examining an
application such as 'recommended deadline for applying for
secondary consents', or 'submission of promoter's
status update on secondary consents'.
Of course for full integration, the secondary consents should be
able to be combined into a single development consent, and this is
something that NIPA have been arguing for. Nevertheless this is a
welcome half way house.
Waste Water National Policy Statement
Today the government has 'designated' (i.e. approved the
final draft of) the eighth National Policy Statement (NPS), this
time for waste water (i.e. sewage). The other seven are six on
energy of various types and one on ports. Here is the written ministerial
statement confirming the designation. The other NPSs have been
redated and republished from their final draft versions, and the
Waste Water NPS is no different - here is the final version.
The designation also means that the ninth and tenth locations
have been identified as potentially suitable for projects - a
sewage treatment works in Edmonton in north London, and a storage
and transfer tunnel under the Thames from Hammersmith to Abbey
Mills. The other eight were the sites for new nuclear power
The Hazardous Waste NPS is the only other one available in
draft, so presumably will be the next up for designation.
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