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Transport: Planning

Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport if he will make it his policy to ensure that any planning application for a major transport matter will continue to be subject to the public inquiry system that has hitherto operated until such time as the relevant national planning statement has been agreed by Parliament. (306875)

The Government intend that the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) established under the Planning Act 2008 will deal with applications for nationally significant transport projects, as defined by that Act, with effect from 1 March 2010, with the aim of delivering decisions in a more timely, efficient and predictable way. As part of the process of examining such applications, the IPC will consider evidence from interested parties and will where it considers appropriate hold open hearings at which oral evidence can be given. Until the relevant National Policy Statement has been designated, the final decisions on such applications will be taken by the relevant Secretary of State, on the basis of the IPC’s recommendation.