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New planning body starts recruiting

Recruitment of members of the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) has begun, its chair Sir Michael Pitt revealed this week. Interviews will be held at the end of July.

“We will have 35 commissioners on fixed term contracts of five years, chosen for their professional and technical expertise,” said Pitt. “We are looking for a diverse commission with diverse skills.”

The IPC is being established to fast track major infrastructure projects considered to be of national importance through the planning process.

“We don’t want delays. We want applicants to demonstrate they have done their best, carried out consultations and engaged with the public.”

Sir Michael Pitt, Infrastructure Planning Commission

It is due to start work in October, providing advice for project promoters ahead of its official launch date in April 2010.

Pitt said that promoters would have to iron out as many detailed planning issues as possible before submitting a project to the IPC.

“There is a new duty on [planning] applicants to ensure that applications have covered all the angles,” said Pitt.”When the application arrives [at the IPC], we want all the glitches sorted out and not some delay due to improper consultation or surveys. We want applicants to demonstrate they have done their best, carried out consultations and engaged with the public.”

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