UK considers cutting planning ‘red tape’ to accelerate energy projects

The government plans to expedite approval for nationally significant infrastructure projects in energy, transport, water and waste sectors

The UK Government has unveiled a new plan to speed up the approval process for major infrastructure projects.

The focus will be on developments in energy, transport, water and waste sectors – projects could include offshore wind farms, nuclear power stations, transport connections and waste facilities.

The proposed changes aim to cut down bureaucratic red tape, making it easier for large-scale projects to be approved and executed swiftly.

By streamlining the consent process from start to finish, the government hopes to significantly reduce the time it takes for crucial decisions to be made.

The plans are part of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects consultation, which starts today and concludes in mid-September.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Significant infrastructure projects don’t just ensure that people can get to work easily, do their recycling, and power their homes.

“They also create jobs, grow our economy, and help us become fit for the future.”

Ged Barlow, the Chief Executive Officer of Net Zero North West, responded to the announcement by stating, “As a UK leader in the development and execution of industrial decarbonisation plans, this progress is encouraging, especially as our industry-led cluster has been actively lobbying the government for some years now to boost investment and speed up processes.”

Mr Barlow pointed out that the current definition of ‘nationally significant infrastructure projects’ lacks clarity.

According to Barlow, it is crucial to include significant, large-scale industrial decarbonisation activities like Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) and hydrogen distribution infrastructure projects, SMR’s, and similar initiatives that are being actively pursued in the North West.

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