Major developments set for fairer, faster planning decisions

The Government said that the new regime would take into account the long-term needs of the country, making sure we had the right infrastructure vital to our economic, environmental and social wellbeing. It will also address the challenge of climate change, strengthen the voice of communities and aim to create the conditions for future economic success.

Housing and Planning Minister John Healey, who led the Planning Act 2008 through Parliament, said: "Improving the UK’s infrastructure now and in the future is critical to maintaining and improving our quality of life, protecting our prosperity and safeguarding the environment in an increasingly competitive global economy.

"The creation of the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) is important for the delivery of these changes for a new generation of green infrastructure sources to meet our ambitious low-carbon goals.

"Over the next two decades we will need to replace around a third of our electricity generating capacity if we are to continue to meet demand. And unless we make much greater use of renewable energy we will struggle to reduce carbon emissions.

"We also need to improve our transport – railways, ports, roads and airports – and water and waste infrastructure. But we need to deliver this in a way which takes into account the needs of communities and the natural environment and we need to get it right first time.

"The new planning system will be fairer and faster, cutting the time taken to make decisions from up to seven years down to under a year. The interests of the public will come first and there will be more and better opportunities for opinions to be heard at more stages in the process."

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