Last edited 20 Jan 2021

Planning Act 2008

The Planning Act 2008 was introduced by the UK government with the intention of reducing the amount of time taken for approving major new infrastructure projects.

The Act established the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), a body that would make decisions based on new national policy statements. The Act made provision for the IPC to authorise major new infrastructure projects, such as airports, roads, harbours, energy facilities, and so on. In so doing, it removed the Secretary of State's ability to have the final say.

Development consent orders were introduced to simplify and speed up the process of obtaining planning permission for certain types of project, designated as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

Other changes introduced by the Act included:

The Localism Act 2011, introduced by the coalition government, made several changes to the Planning Act 2008. Most significant of these was the replacement of the IPC with the Major Infrastructure Planning Unit of the Planning Inspectorate. It also returned the final decision-making powers to the Secretary of State.

You can see the full Act here.

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