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Increase resourcing for councils to participate in Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning process, says Law Society

The Law Society has called on the Government to increase the resourcing of local authorities and statutory consultees involved in the examination of applications for development consent under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning (NSIP) regime.

In its response to a Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) consultation on the NSIP process, Chancery Lane said this would allow councils and statutory consultees to “participate in, and contribute to, the process”.

The Law Society recommended that the Government produce guidance setting out what information is needed for an application for examination to be accepted. It said this would be "helpful for accelerating the speed and quality of NSIP applications”.

The Law Society’s response also highlighted that a difficulty when working on NSIP projects was the lack of co-ordination between relevant government bodies regarding climate change (adaptation and mitigation strategies), and other environmental issues.

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“This is particularly so given there is no single body specifically tasked with co-ordinating these matters across government,” Chancery Lane said.

“Enhanced co-operation between the relevant government bodies would be helpful for implementing projects.”

It added that it was also concerned about the capacity of the PINS website to host application, examination and determination information on the website for longer periods of time.

The DLUHC consultation – part of an end-to-end review of the NSIP process and all its interactions – closed on 17 December 2022.

The full Law Society response can be obtained here.

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