The Chancellor made a series of announcements last week as part of the launch of the 2014 National Infrastructure Plan and Autumn Statement. Proposals highlighted in both announcements include:
- Compulsory Purchase Reforms – making processes clearer, faster and fairer, with the aim of bringing forward more brownfield land for development. The detail will be announced as part of the 2015 Budget.
- Section 106 negotiations – speeding up negotiations relating to section 106 agreements to reduce delays to the planning process.
- Establishing the principle of development – taking forward measures to ensure that the principle of development need only be established once.
- Speed of decisions – keeping the speed of major decisions under review, with minimum performance thresholds increasing to 50% of major decisions made on time as performance improves.
- A ‘Northern Powerhouse’ – investing in cities in the north of England by way of a new sovereign wealth fund.
National Infrastructure Plan
In this, the fifth, National Infrastructure Plan, the Government first summarises progress since 2010 and then sets out the plan for future investment in infrastructure by sector. From energy to roads to scientific research, each sector has its own section setting out objectives, need, strategy and a delivery plan. Some key projects include:
Click here to view table
Highlights from the announcements contained in the Autumn Statement include proposals to:
- Smaller planning applications – publish new data on local authorities’ performance in meeting their statutory duty to process smaller planning applications within eight weeks;
- Brownfield land – publish proposals for consultation at Budget 2015 “to make processes clearer, faster and fairer, with the aim of bringing forward more brownfield land for development”;
- National Networks Policy Statement – lay the National Networks National Policy Statement before Parliament in December 2014;
- Housing on state-owned land – release of public sector land with capacity for up to 150,000 homes between 2015 and 2020, with support for Bicester to provide up to 13,000 new homes.