New rules for major UK infrastructure projects


Major infrastructure projects will be delivered faster under new reforms by the UK Government. 

by Rory ButlerFebruary 24, 2023

Measures set out in its Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) strategy will streamline the planning process for large-scale infrastructure projects, such as new transport links, offshore wind farms and wastewater management facilities, it said. 

A new fast-track pilot, designed to speed up building, means the Secretary of State can impose shorter timelines on certain projects. 

The changes also include increased community engagement and environmental protections. 

NSIPs go through a separate planning process to other infrastructure projects. The government is introducing the changes because between 2012 and 2021 there was a 65% increase in the time it took for NSIPs to be approved. 

What else does it say? 

  • The National Infrastructure Commission will advise government on how to update National Policy Statements (reasons for a policy) more regularly. 
  • Speeding up the application process by “streamlining regulations” and updating guidance. 
  • Reforming environmental regulations in the Environmental Outcomes Report: “A new approach that will make environmental protections more effective, reduce bureaucracy and focus on the outcome of development.”   
  • Planning Performance Agreements will be revised. 

“The plan we have published today demonstrates the commitment across government to ensuring the planning system supports us to improve our energy security and deliver the major transport links and essential facilities this country needs to thrive,” said local government minister, Lee Rowley MP. 

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