Government Scraps Infrastructure Planning Commission
YESTERDAY 30th June 2010 was the deadline date that DONG Energy set to receive responses to its initial proposals to build a biomass power station at Queen Elizabeth Dock. DONG will review the responses and produce a final consultation report which is expected to be produced in August.
Subject to the success of its consultation DONG had aimed to submit an application to develop the power station in the Autumn. Initially, this application, or Development Consent Order, would have been made to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. DONG has already submitted a scoping report about its proposals to this body (See IPC Projects).
The Infrastructure Planning Commission was the independent body set up in 2008 to decide applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects. However, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced on Tuesday that this body will be abolished as part of the coalition Government’s cost-cutting programme.
The Department of Communities and Local Government on its website has stated that until new legislation is in place the Infrastructure Planning Commission will continue in its present role until it is abolished. There is no question of applications having to restart the process and we intend that the statutory timetable for decision-taking will be no longer than the current regime.
Sir Michael Pitt the Chair of the IPC has used the IPC Website to reassure the public that improved opportunities to have your say on proposals will not be diminished in any way by the changeover to a new “fairer, faster decision making” system of regulation.
So it seems that this does not signify a change in the deadline goalposts for DONG Energy or the Power Station proposal – but rather a change of goalies!