Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima

Hitachi- from the country that brought the world Fukushima
We feel very sad for the people of Japan who want to end nuclear energy whilst a potential new government and big business are desperate for it

No Fukushima at Oldbury

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

No to Fukushima at Shepperdine!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Shake-up for planning runs into red tape

We can already see the threats from the global energy companies, with no concern for the UK except for the return they can make for their shareholders in Germany and France, threatening the UK and its government with "make life easy for us...or our money goes elsewhere" as the EEF agree.

For the EEF to call this a parochial issue shows that they are only interested in short term jobs in the development of the infrastructure and not for the long term wealth of UK Ltd.

The long term wealth of our country is dependent on a wholly UK owned energy infrastructure that is not subject to the casino investements of various energy companies such as E.on , RWE and EDF , Iderberola and Vatenfall.

The government is making the correct steps by encouraging all communities to have potential interests in their own electricity production and reducing the boa like grip of the above companies.

Shake-up for planning runs into red tape

By Fiona Harvey and Jim Pickard

Only two planning applications for big infrastructure projects have been considered by the government agency set up to streamline planning rules in almost six months of operation.

Meanwhile at least 50 projects – ranging from wind farms and nuclear power stations to road improvements – have been in preparation, many for more than a year, with developers struggling to draw up the paperwork demanded by the Infrastructure Planning Commission.

One company told the Financial Times that the lengthy process required before the agency would accept an application for consideration meant the new system was no quicker than the one it replaced.

Another said: “The process is incredibly complex, you have to wade through all this paperwork.

“It’s enough to make companies think very hard about whether to go through the IPC at all or whether to go through the old council route instead.”

The government is planning to scrap the agency, replacing it with a body called the Major Infrastructure Unit, in a move that is also causing concern to business.

Infrastructure remains a priority in planning changes

The two projects still under consideration by the IPC – an electricity cable to connect a wind farm to the grid in Wales, and an energy-from-waste plant in Bedfordshire – would under current rules require a decision within a year.

However, uncertainty over the government’s plans to reform the system mean even this timetable is now in doubt.

The IPC was set up in October 2009 and opened this March in the expectation that it would speed up planning applications by removing some of the decision-making responsibilities from local councils. However, applications to go through the IPC are more burdensome and require detailed paperwork and audits.

The IPC acknowledged: “There is a lot of work that has to be done before the applicant can present the application, environmental impact reports, local impact reports, all this needs to be done beforehand.”

Companies said that the new system was “frontloaded”, with applicants required to do more “scoping” and consultation before the IPC would accept an application. Scottish and Southern Energy said its opinion of the IPC was “fairly neutral”, but the system was still “very complex”.

RWE Npower told the FT that the “frontloading” of the process should ensure all companies reached a high standard of “stakeholder involvement”.

However, companies are concerned that sweeping away the IPC will not improve a system widely accepted as too complex.

Some warned against making ministers responsible for final decisions, as they would be unwilling to take tough decisions that could be politically unpopular.

“Creating this new planning process and then dismantling it immediately afterwards does not make sense,” said RWE.

The EEF manufacturers’ organisation echoed these concerns: “We have to ensure that parochial preoccupations are put aside in the national interest. Big companies can invest anywhere, and a factor in their decision is the planning system.”

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