Draft Infrastructure Planning (Business or Commercial Projects) Regulations 2013 - Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee report

A Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee report draws the special attention of the House to the draft Infrastructure Planning (Business or Commercial Projects) Regulations 2013 on the grounds they give rise to issues of public policy likely to be of interest to the house.

The report states that in January 2000, the Royal Commission on the Reform of the House of Lords said that there was a good case for enhanced Parliamentary scrutiny of secondary legislation and recommended establishing a "sifting" mechanism to identify those statutory instruments which merited further debate or consideration. The Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee was set up on 17 December 2003. At the start of the 2012-3 Session the Committee was renamed to reflect the widening of its responsibilities to include the scrutiny of Orders laid under the Public Bodies Act 2011.

The report adds that that through the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, the Government have expanded the nationally significant infrastructure planning regime, established under the Planning Act 2008, to include certain business and commercial projects. These draft Regulations prescribe the types of projects which can be authorised as a business or commercial project under that regime.

The Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee go on to say that DCLG consulted on proposals for this extension of the NSIP regime for a period of six weeks from 22 November 2012 to 7 January 2013. They note that this spanned the Christmas period; the period of time realistically available to consultation respondents was thus reduced in a way which, in our view, was at odds with good practice. 102 responses were received, from a range of developers, local authorities, environmental organisations and members of the public. While the Department allowed a short period for consultation, it took over five months to publish its response, doing so in June 2013.

The report also draws special attention to the Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 and Criminal Defence Service (Very High Cost Cases) (Funding) Order 2013 on the grounds they may imperfectly achieve their policy objectives.

Publication Date: 14 November 2013

Author: House of Lords

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 26.4

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