Blog Archives

Alert: people working in all sectors should scrutinise the National Planning Policy Framework

In particular, readers who have a degree of interest in environmental issues, whether narrowly focussed or holistic, are advised to scrutinise the government’s NPPF draft consultation document.

Its commitment to reducing emissions was set out in the original NPPF document March 12(page 2, cover right) and in the draft consultation document (page 5):


However, one planner drew attention to an environmentally undesirable omission in the transport sector. Readers with a different focus may well find other causes for concern in this draft document and wish to take part in the consultation.  

Local authorities encouraging the use of freight by water, using suitable canals and rivers, have noted an omission in the revised Mineral Planning Policy. The original para. 143 of the NPPF:

The new Para 200 e):

This is significantly different from the original para 143 which puts more emphasis on sustainable transport modes for minerals.

Local Mineral Planning Authorities in areas such as Leeds and Manchester, who are safeguarding existing wharves and approving new ones, ensuring sustainable modes of bulk transport for minerals, and those involved with the waterway freight industry will recommend that the original wording is reinstated.

 

 

 

o

“Grand vanity projects” – HS2

State and local governments want showcase projects and councillors and ministers want “legacies” . . .

The message: the Coalition is delivering on infrastructure

The message: the Coalition is delivering on infrastructure

A reader on holiday in Devon took time off to draw our attention to an article by Liam Halligan, who has a remarkably wide wealth of business experience.

Last week, George Osborne, David Cameron and government ministers were photographed inspecting building projects across the country, wearing hard hats and high-visibility jackets. The message: the Coalition is delivering on infrastructure.

The Treasury published an updated list of over 200 major projects to be completed or started in 2014-15 – infrastructure spending will be £36bn this year, according to Downing Street, up from £15bn in 2013. But since 2010 the national debt has risen from £800bn to over £1,200bn. Government is still borrowing £100bn-plus annually, as it has for five successive years.

overcrowding on trains

Halligan’s view on the HS2 proposal: “What desperately needs addressing isn’t inter-city speed, but massive overcrowding on local commuter lines — not only into London, but Birmingham, Leeds, and Manchester too, where passenger numbers have grown faster than those into and out of the capital.

He advocates placing a greater emphasis on cross-country train services. Instead of spending £80bn-plus on the London-Birmingham leg of HS2, there should be investment in the two lines that already run between the two cities. Rather than a marginally quicker service from London to Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield – the cost of which will limit its use largely to business travellers –a world-class and more frequent inter-city links between the great northern cities is needed.

The last word from Halligan: “The UK’s public finances remain in a critical state. Now is the time for cost-effective solutions to genuine problems, not grand vanity projects”