Changes announced by Greg Clark designed to keep lid on escalating costs

Major infrastructure projects could be set for quicker delivery under a new fast-track planning route announced by the secretary of state for levelling up.

Greg Clark said yesterday that new powers would allow relevant government ministers to set shorter deadlines for examinations of nationally significant infrastructure projects, such as road improvements or offshore wind farms, in England and Wales.


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The government’s energy security strategy announced a plan to cut offshore wind approval times by three-quarters

Amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will also mean that non-material changes to approved projects – which can currently take up to 16 months – will be able to be made more quickly.

“Particularly in a time of high inflation, things need to be done more quickly or costs of major infrastructure projects will rise,” said Clark

“These changes will help deliver new infrastructure more quickly.”

The announcement is part of the government’s plan to accelerate delivery in order to meet targets included in its energy security strategy earlier this year, which set out an ambition to approve one new nuclear reactor every year until 2030, among other major infrastructure plans.

The department for levelling up, housing and communities also announced yesterday that more than £750,000 had been awarded to 10 council-led projects supporting innovations to ensure community views are reflected in the planning process for national significant infrastructure.