Further improvements need to be made to major infrastructure planning in the UK to help accelerate investment and speed-up decision-making, the Confederation of British Industry has said.
In a new report, Minor measures – major results – Fine-tuning the major infrastructure planning system the CBI urges the Government to reduce uncertainty at the pre-application stage, simplify the non-planning consent landscape and introduce more flexibility and a sense of urgency into the system.
CBI deputy director-general Neil Bentley said: “Businesses approve of the Government’s reforms to our major infrastructure planning system to streamline planning decision, but it’s vital we don’t lose momentum while these significant changes take hold. Too many applications are still at the initial stages, at a time when we need major investment in our infrastructure.
“We’re suggesting ways the Government can fine-tune the system to spur on much needed new infrastructure, such as energy plants, railway lines, airports, roads, ports and waste facilities.
“Investing in major infrastructure projects will bring big rewards for our economy, with new jobs and growth. But investors both at home and abroad must have the confidence that the planning system will deliver timely decisions, so the Government needs to act now. Waiting for a much fuller review in 2014 would be a lost opportunity.”