Today's entry looks at resources available to find out more about the Planning Act regime.

It is just possible that this blog doesn't sate your appetite for information about infrastructure planning and authorisation.  This entry looks at some of the other resources available.

Online resources

The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) website has a range of advice notes and also a register of advice it has given.  Even if you are too shy to ask the IPC yourself, it will probably have answered a question like your one already, so it is worth searching the advice log.  The website has about a month to live, but I hope that the historical advice log will be maintained when the site is subsumed by the Planning Inspectorate.

For a list of links to relevant guidance and legislation and a list of current National Policy Statement and IPC applications, I do keep blog entry 127 up to date.

For a mere £50 you can hear me talking about the IPC regime on the localgovernmentlawyer website (I think it's free if you haven't listened to one of their webinars before).  For more details see here.  You may discover why I prefer the written word to the spoken one, but all the essentials should be there.  For nothing you can see Robbie Owen and Ian Shrubsall of DCO Advisers talking about the regime on three youtube videos.

There are a few other planning blogs but none focuses on infrastructure specifically (so I can say without fear of contradiction that this is the best blog on infrastructure planning).  Those that have done the courtesy of listing this blog on their blog page are:

One offline resource is Butterworths' Guide to Major Infrastructure Projects, written by lawyers at BDB, but to be honest it is getting out of date now.  It still contains a useful exposition of the regime, though.  More details can be found here. A second edition is on the cards.

Face time

If you want to speak to and hear other professionals working in this area, there are a growing number of opportunities.

First, there is the National Infrastructure Planning Association (NIPA), an organisation set up specifically to develop and disseminate knowledge and best practice about nationally significant infrastructure projects.  It is the only membership organisation to focus on this area specifically, as far as I am aware.  Last week it had its inaugural drinks reception attended by the great and good in infrastructure planning.  NIPA Chair Steve Norris spoke and emphasised the need for further streamlining of the system. NIPA's webste can be found here. The annual fee is a mere £75.

There are a few conferences and seminars in the pipeline where you can hear speakers talk about various aspects of the regime.  Here are three where I am either attending or speaking, so let me know if you are coming and I'll come and say hello.  They are all in London: sorry if that is impractical for you.

On 17 April, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is holding a conference entitled Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.  It is a day-long conference that will cover most aspects of the regime,  The wepage for the conference can be found here.

Two days later, 19 April sees a shorter lunchtime seminar - and it's free.  The Hansard Society and Bircham Dyson Bell have got together for a series of three seminars on legislative drafting.  The third of these is on infrastructure consents.  It will therefore deal with Development Consent Orders under the Planning Act (as well as Transport and Works Act Orders and Harbour Revision Orders).  It will be for those who want to get into the nitty-gritty of the issues surrounding the drafting of such things.  For more details see here.

A month later, on 24 May. the Waterfront Conference Company is holding a conference called Planning for Major Infrastructure Projects under the New Regime.  This is a day-long conference and will cover all aspects of the regime.  The webpage with more details can be found here.