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MPs vote for airport exemptions for Planning Act

MPs today voted to introduce a new Bill that could open the door to exempt airport expansion from the Planning Act.

Today MPs voted to allow Liberal Democrat MP Susan Kramer to introduce her Bill, which would take airport expansion outside the Planning Act.

MPs approved her ‘10 minute Bill’ by a majority of 243 to 203.

A full Bill may now be introduced to the Commons which, if passed, would ensure airport expansion received parliamentary approval, and not rely on the independent Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC).

The Conservatives have already pledged to scrap the IPC.

Under the Planning Act, the Government sets out National Policy Statements (NPS), detailing national infrastructure priorities for the country in areas such as energy, aviation, road and rail transport, water and waste.

The NPSs must then be approved by parliament.

However, whether individual projects go ahead will then be taken independently by the IPC.

Kramer’s new Bill, if passed, could open the door to make exceptions for airport expansion, and require Parliament to give final approval.

With expansion at Heathrow airport dividing opinion, this could introduce more opportunities for any expansion to go ahead.


  • That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Planning Act 2008 to require Parliamentary approval for proposals for the building of new major airports and additional runways at existing major airports; and for connected purposes. 

The Bill will now move to a second reading, but will require considerable support from rebel Labour MPs if it is to become law.

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