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Draft National Policy Statement for Ports is declared unfit

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has slammed the Government’s recently published draft planning policy on ports provision as “not fit for purpose” in a formal response to the consultation on a National Policy Statement for Ports.

The RTPI said the draft policy does not give sufficient guidance on the need for or locations of ports, and does not address the question of possible improvements to existing ports.

RTPI acting director for policy & partnerships Matt Thomson said the draft National Policy Statement for Ports “fails to justify the need for building any new ports, or give any guidance on how they should relate to road and rail networks or centres of industry or population”.

“The RTPI urges the Department for Transport to think again about the need for this ports policy, instead of rushing out a half-baked proposal.”

Matt Thomson, RTPI

“It leaves decisions about where ports should be entirely for the market to determine, which offers no security for investors or for local communities that may be affected,” he said. “Nor does it consider impacts on Britain’s existing ports, improvements to which may be a better option than building an entirely new port.

“There is no identified urgency to provide new ports in the UK, with a number of port developments already under construction. The RTPI therefore urges the Department for Transport to think again about the need for this ports policy, instead of rushing out a half-baked proposal.”

The National Policy Statement for Ports will determine how proposals to build new port facilities are decided upon by the new Infrastructure Planning Commission.

The RTPI is a professional body that represents 22,000 planners.

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