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IPC names anticipated initial projects

IPC names anticipated initial projects

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 21 October 2009

Issued by the News Distribution Service on behalf of The Infrastructure Planning Commission


The Infrastructure Planning Commission today announced the first major infrastructure projects that it expects to receive as applications. Five major wind farms and two new nuclear power stations are included on the list, as well as a biomass power plant, and two national grid connection projects (the initial programme of projects is attached).

Sir Michael Pitt, Chair, speaking at an IPC event in Westminster, said: “The IPC will ensure that the public knows which projects are proposed for their areas as soon as these are confirmed to us.

“The projects we are highlighting today raise important issues for the nation and for local communities and we want the public to have confidence that their views will be heard. In every case there will be an opportunity for an open floor hearing as part of the IPC examination process.”

The IPC, currently in advice-giving mode, will start taking applications from 1 March 2010. Where the relevant National Policy Statement is in place, the IPC will decide applications. Where it is not, the IPC will make recommendations to the Secretary of State.

Sir Michael continued: “We expect many more proposals to follow in the near future, as promoters begin to undertake the extensive public consultation which they must carry out under the new regime, before they can submit applications to the IPC.

“I would urge all members of the public affected by a project in their area to find out more about the improved opportunities created through the new regime, for them to have their say.”

Information for the public is available at the IPC’s website: www.independent.gov.uk/infrastructure and leaflets are available from the helpline: 0303 444 5000.

The new process places a duty upon promoters to consult widely with local communities, and to investigate the potential impacts of projects upon the local environment.

Local authorities play a vital role in the new process. Promoters must consult the local authority about the best way to engage local people in their consultation. Local authorities will also be able to produce a Local Impact Report describing the likely effects of the proposed development on the local area, for consideration by the IPC.

Sir Michael concludes: “The bottom line is that the IPC will not accept any application, where it considers that the consultation process has been unsatisfactory or the community’s concerns have not been addressed.”

The IPC’s Programme of Projects will be published and updated regularly at: www.independent.gov.uk/infrastructure

To view the list of anticipated initial projects, follow this link:

http://nds.coi.gov.uk/Content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=407781&NewsAreaID=2&ClientID=1

Notes to Editors

Notes to Editors:

1. The Planning Act 2008 established the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), which is responsible for deciding significant infrastructure planning applications.

2. The IPC was established on 1 October 2009, when it started to give advice. It will begin to accept applications from 1 March 2010.

3. A non-departmental public body, the IPC operates within the policy framework prescribed in the Planning Act secondary legislation and the National Policy Statements.

4. It will make its decisions in accordance with National Policy Statements, which themselves will be subject to public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny.

5. The IPC will ensure fairer faster applications. The Government’s Regulatory Impact Assessment estimates that the overall benefits of the planning reforms could be on average £300 million per year.

6. The IPC will give reasons for its decisions, and account to Ministers and Parliament for its performance. The relevant Select Committee can call the Chair of the IPC before it to explain the overall performance of the regime, and individual decisions.

Journalists wanting further information should contact:

Simon Holder, COI on: 020 7261 8342.
Tracey Page, Lindsey Bennett, Stewart Willes - IPC Press on 0303 44 3199 / 0303 444 5082 / 0303 444 5083.

If you are calling on Thursday 22 October – please call the following mobiles: 07812 098116 or 07976 496 609.

Contacts:

COI London
Phone: 020 7261 8325
Fax: 020 7261 8546
NPS17@coi.gsi.gov.uk

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