The Bill introduces a new system for approving major infrastructure of national importance, such as harbours and waste facilities, and replaces current regimes under several pieces of legislation. The objective is to streamline these decisions and avoid long public inquiries.
- Decisions would be taken by a new Infrastructure Planning Commission
- Decisions would be based on new national policy statements
- The hearing and decision-making process by the Commission would be timetabled
- The new regime would be used for energy developments like nuclear power
- The Secretary of State would no longer have the final say on major infrastructure decisions
- There would be a new Community Infrastructure Levy on developments to finance infrastructure. The idea of this would be to raise money from developers to pay for facilities needed as a consequence of new developments, such as schools, hospitals and sewage plants.
- Planning appeals for minor developments would be heard by a panel of local councillors rather than by a planning inspector.