Department for Transport written statement – made on 14th March 2023.
Today I am laying before Parliament the draft revised National Networks National Policy Statement.
The National Networks National Policy Statement was designated in 2015. It sets out the need for development of road, rail and strategic rail freight interchange projects on the national networks, and the policy against which decisions on major road and rail projects will be made. The National Networks National Policy Statement provides guidance to applicants in preparing, and the Secretary of State in determining, applications for development consent orders for national network infrastructure projects.
The Government announced a review of the current National Networks National Policy Statement in a written ministerial statement in July 2021 in light of net zero commitments, including the Transport Decarbonisation Plan. I have today launched a public consultation on a draft of a revised National Networks National Policy Statement, as well as supporting habitats and sustainability reports, and associated appendices. These are subject to a 12-week public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny in parallel and are all available on gov.uk.
I will place copies of the public consultation document, the Appraisal of Sustainability and its appendices, and the Habitats Regulation Assessment in the Libraries of the House. The public consultation will close on 6 June 2023. The relevant period for parliamentary scrutiny will be from 14 March 2023 to 20 October 2023.
The review of the National Networks National Policy Statement is being progressed as part of the Government’s Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects Action Plan, which will ensure that the planning process for the development of projects is as clear and efficient as possible. I have asked my officials to complete the review of the National Networks National Policy Statement as quickly as possible during 2023.