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Government seeks Planning Committee chiefs

The government has confirmed that it will fast-track recruitment to find both a chairman and chief executive for the proposed Independent Planning Committee (IPC) before the new Bill becomes law.

The IPC will make policy decisions for projects of national importance, and slash the time for planning in the process.

Any new nuclear power stations will rely on swift decisions made by the IPC, for swift construction.

Minister for Local Government John Healey said: "The IPC will act as the decision maker for the majority of major infrastructure consents, acting within a national policy framework set by Government.

"Early appointments will give infrastructure developers the confidence to work on applications for development consent under a new regime, with the knowledge that the IPC will be operational and able to provide advice by the time the first National Policy Statements are designated, expected towards the end of 2009."

Healey said that the twin appointments would be made before Royal Assent of the Planning Bill.

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