Prime Minister David Cameron has stressed the need for further measures to streamline the planning system as he and Chancellor George Osborne highlighted that more than 200 projects in rail, road, local transport, flood defences, broadband, airport infrastructure and waste management are due to start construction in 2014 to 2015.
These include the Mersey Gateway Bridge, Sheffield Lower Don Valley and Exeter flood defence schemes and the A1 Barton to Leeming motorway upgrade, which will reduce journey times by 20 per cent.
Another 200 infrastructure projects are also due to be completed this year, including major roads such as the M6 J10A-13, Nottingham tram extension, Heathrow Terminal 2 upgrade and Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm, which is currently the largest in construction anywhere in Europe.
“Simplifying the planning system, making it faster, is absolutely essential if we’re going to build that infrastructure that the country needs,” the PM said.
The PM’s comments came as Coalition plans for an Infrastructure Bill in the next Parliamentary session surfaced.
It has emerged that ministers are proposing to make it easier for energy companies to install pipe networks for unconventional gas projects without falling foul of existing trespass laws.
The PM has suggested that the Government might cut subsidies for land-based wind farms when it has "built enough to meet all our targets".
The proposed Infrastructure Bill would give the Highways Agency more powers and bring in planning changes to fast-track developments, according to the Financial Times.
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