Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Fast track planning powers to go ahead

Engineers and others experts will gain powers to fast track major infrastructure projects as part of an independent Infrastructure Planning Committee (IPC), after the Government defeated a House of Commons rebellion this afternoon.

Rebel Labour MPs were unhappy decisions over projects such as power stations and airports would move from elected to unelected decision makers, and had table an amendment to the Planning Bill that would have seen the ultimate decision on schemes resting with Parliament.

However, the amendment was defeated this afternoon, with 303 MPs voting against it and only 260 in favour.

The IPC will have 20 to 30 members that will be appointed by Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

From these members, panels of three commissioners will be appointed to oversee the biggest infrastructure schemes. Individual commissioners will consider smaller schemes.

Officials at the assured NCE that civil engineers would be part of the IPC.

The new legislation will open the door to much faster planning for major infrastructure projects, such as power stations or transport projects.

However, the Government only won by incorporating into the Bill two amendments to make the IPC proposal more palatable to rebel Labour MPs.

First, the IPC will be legally required to take into account a report of local community views produced by the local councils concerned.

Second, if a developer applies for a compulsory purchase order, then any affected parties have a right to force the IPC to hold a public hearing at which they must be heard.

The Bill will now move to the House of Lords for scrutiny.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs