Key announcements specific to planning, performance and delivery are:
- Compulsory Purchase Reforms – proposals will be published for consultation at Budget 2015 to make processes clearer, faster and fairer, with the aim of bringing forward more brownfield land for development
- National Transport Policy – the government plans to lay the National Networks National Policy Statement before Parliament this month for consideration and a formal vote
- Establishing the principle of development – the government will take forward measures to ensure that the principle of development need only be established once
- Section 106 negotiations – the government will take steps to speed up section 106 negotiations, to reduce delays to the planning process
- Speed of decisions (DCLG) – the government will keep the speed of major decisions under review, with minimum performance thresholds increasing to 50% of major decisions made on time as performance improves.
In addition, the document provides details on progress to date and key actions to 2020 on aspects of the planning process:
- Improving government client-side capability
- Working with industry to reduce costs and drive performance
- Streamlining the planning and consenting systems
- Infrastructure interdependence, resilience and cross-sectoral working.
A key action for working with industry is the delivery of the next stage of the Infrastructure Cost programme which was launched in October 2014, which aims to embed the government’s partnership with industry through the Infrastructure Client Group. Also, the Infrastructure Cost programme will continue to be coordinated alongside the government’s wider ambitions for the construction sector as set out in the Industrial Strategy for Construction: Construction 2025.
On streamlining the planning and consenting systems, the Government believes that the compulsory purchase regime would benefit from streamlining and updating. Proposals will be published for consultation at Budget 2015 to make processes clearer, faster and fairer, with the aim of bringing forward more brownfield land for development. A number of steps are listed for making improvements to the planning system, both within and outside of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning regime.
Action on infrastructure interdependence, resilience and cross-sectoral working include the publication of further reports by the UK Regulators Network as part of its work programme. In addition the Interdependency Planning and Management Framework is currently being incorporated into Green Book supplementary guidance on valuing infrastructure spend with the aim of ensuring that interdependencies can be properly identified, valued and the associated impacts realised from the inception of major government-funded infrastructure investments.
Author: HM Treasury