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Lords committee wants more clarity on ministerial infrastructure powers

A House of Lords committee has asked government for more clarity on a clause in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill through parliament that would give ministers “unqualified” power to make planning decisions on behalf of local authorities.

In a report published today, the Lords Constitution Committee says the bill risks shifting too much power to the executive, and says assurances from the government that this power would only be used in exceptional circumstances are insufficient.

It thinks that secondary legislation should be used to identify what these circumstances are.

Committee chair Baroness Jay of Paddington said: “The Constitution Committee thinks that when significant powers over local decision-making are being transferred to central government it is important that there is clarity over when and how those powers might be used. It is not sufficient for the government simply to give assurances that they are likely to be rarely used; that must be clear in the legislation itself.

The full report is available on the House of Lords Constitution Committee website.

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