Growth and Infrastructure Bill

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 3:34 pm on 5th November 2012.

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Photo of Eric Pickles Eric Pickles The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 3:34 pm, 5th November 2012

That question might have sounded like a good idea earlier this morning, but this is the wrong Bill, the wrong matter and the wrong debate in which to raise it. If the hon. Gentleman writes to me, no doubt we will do our best to help.

In an internet age, Britain must be able to compete virtually; otherwise, businesses will literally select another country at the click of a mouse. We live in a connected age, but technologies also make our society interdependent. Everyday families take for granted the “just-in-time” technologies that stock our supermarkets and drop off internet deliveries to our doors. To make them work, however, we need to build and provide the storage depots, warehouses and rail exchanges, and the supporting energy infrastructure to keep the economy moving.

The number of large-scale business and commercial applications taking over a year to determine is rising, so this Bill will allow an alternative process to decide nationally significant business and commercial projects within 12 months of the start of examination. Existing requirements to consult local communities will be retained, as will democratic checks and balances.