Planning Reform Is Long Overdue

Article excerpt

Byline: KEVAN CARRICK

ACOUPLE of interesting cases in planning and strategic infrastructure were announced last week. The first is Government's decision not to build a nuclear power station at Druridge Bay.

The second is the decision to relocate Lord Londonderry's statue in the centre of Durham City. I know there are those who believe this is disrespectful to our heritage but there are others who do not care much for the noble Lord, whose lack of compassion for the mining community is well recorded.

So I am delighted that the Government has established the Infrastructure Planning Commission to reform the system.

This gives all the parties involved in major infrastructure plans the opportunity to put forward their views before applications are lodged and throughout their examination.

There are seven pre-application stages of project development and consultation; validation within 28 days to check application meets requirements; pre-examination of the promoter to inform relevant parties of the application and deadline for initial representations; pre-examination by commissioner or panel to carry out initial assessment and preliminary meeting; examine within six months, including written representations and possible hearings; commission within three months to issue a decision and statement of reason; and a post-decision six week window for legal challenge. …