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Planning: Environment Protection

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 6 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the planned new independent infrastructure planning commission will have any duties to consider or protect tranquillity. (139223)

Paragraphs 5.39 to 5.48 of the White Paper ‘Planning for a Sustainable Future’ (Cm 7120) explain decision making by the infrastructure planning commission. The commission would, in determining applications for development consent for nationally significant infrastructure projects, be required to take into account relevant adverse local consequences that are incompatible with relevant EC and domestic law including human rights legislation. Relevant EC and domestic law for development consent covers a wide range of factors, including those relating to the impact on the local community and local environment. We do not propose a specific duty on the commission to consider or protect tranquillity.

The White Paper asks a consultation question on the framework for the commission to decide applications. We will listen to consultation responses and specify the framework for commission decisions in legislation to establish the commission.