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CBI report calls for larger-than-local planning where needed

‘Larger-than-local’ planning will be important for encouraging investor confidence and identifying waste infrastructure requirements where needed, a report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said.

The CBI’s ’Risky business - investing in the UK’s low-carbon infrastructure’ report, which sets out a number of recommendations for the growth of green infrastructure, has called for a planning system which encourages investment through what it terms “larger-than-local-planning”.

The report said: “Looking beyond major infrastructure projects, the government’s greater focus on returning planning control to local authorities has led to the abolition of regional spatial strategies. “Although unduly bureaucratic and cumbersome, these were successful in identifying the sub-national infrastructure needs for an area, including energy supply and waste management – both of which will require significant investment in upgrades over the next few decades.

“To encourage investor confidence it will be important to demonstrate that this will not lead to duplication of resources and a lack of strategic thinking at a local level. Key to this will be the Localism Bill’s duty to cooperate, which must be strong enough to ensure larger-than-local planning takes place where it is genuinely needed.”

The report’s other recommendations include:

  • Providing the legislation to create Green Investment Bank with the power to issue bonds “as soon as possible” and a portfolio that includes energy-from-waste technologies.
  • A cross departmental long-term, low carbon growth strategy

CBI chief policy director Katja Hall said: “We know the UK needs a balanced energy mix to cut emissions and grow the low-carbon economy, but the big question now is how we pay for it. Businesses want to get on with building new low-carbon infrastructure, but there is still too much policy uncertainty. We need the Government to set a clear direction of travel and to stick to it.”

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