In February 2023, the government asked the Commission to undertake a study on the infrastructure planning system and National Policy Statements (NPSs).
National Policy Statements (NPSs) are a key part of the system for managing Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) and are important in ensuring that government policy is implemented effectively through the planning system. As the government updates a number of these – including the Energy, National Networks and Water Resources NPSs – the Commission has explored the best future approach for reviewing NPSs and whether the current process of reviewing statements every five years, as set out in the Planning Act 2008, is the most effective way forward.
The study covered the future of NPS review cycles, actions the government could take to ensure NPSs provide greater certainty for investors, infrastructure developers and communities, and other related good practice.
The final report of the study was published on 18 April.
It sets out recommendations to government on infrastructure planning both in the short and longer term (over the next five years), building on existing government plans for reform in this area, including the Action Plan for NSIPs.
The study’s focus was on England because planning decisions are devolved, but it considered the relevance of any potential cross border issues with the devolved administrations.
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