Politicians, engineers and built environment professionals attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on Infrastructure (APPGI) meeting last week, to hear Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) chair Sir Michael Pitt outline how the IPC and National Policy Statements (NPS) will improve infrastructure planning in the UK.
The APPGI meetings, organised by the ICE and chaired by Nick Raynsford MP take place around every two months, to highlight the importance of infrastructure to the economy and society, to hear expert speakers and to discuss key issues.
Pitt outlined the progress made towards implementing the Planning Act 2008, the role of the IPC and NPSs and the benefits that will be delivered to the planning system, in the form of fairer, more efficient planning decisions an cost savings.
He said: “Of all the things in the Planning Act, NPSs are the most important as they establish coherent strategy. The IPC’s role will be to evaluate evidence in planning applications against that same strategy.
“The IPC is not a rubber stamp to the government. IPC commissioners will make their decisions in accordance with any designated and relevant NPSs, subject to some exceptions. For example, where the adverse local impact of a proposed development would outweigh the national interest then an application will be rejected.
“We have held more than 100 stakeholder meetings, and will enjoy working with many different organisations in the process.”