Reforms to save £300m a year and cut delays to nuclear power stations and other major infrastructure projects by half will be outlined today by local government minister John Healey. Financial Times
Healey will say that the Planning Reform Bill, which will attempt to overhaul the creaking British system of infrastructure planning, will save up to £5bn by 2030.
The time taken to process planning applications for national projects will be cut by at least half. The new system is expected to bring the average time down to under a year, including a potential statutory requirement to meet a set timescale for certain projects.
He will stand firm on a pledge to create a commission of planners, lawyers and other experts to make key planning decisions – despite business and community concerns that an unelected quango will have the power to rule on major infrastructure projects without consultation.
He will also announce a controversial tightening of the responsibility of private sector developers to consult with stakeholders. There will be a new legal requirement that developers have to discuss infrastructure projects with the public, local councils, key agencies and heritage experts including Natural England, English Heritage and the Environment Agency.