Devolving infrastructure planning powers to ministers could lead to further delays in the construction of seven biomass and energy-from-waste (EfW) facilities, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned.
It has voiced its concern that “timely” planning decisions will be less forthcoming now that infrastructure planning is under ministerial control.
The CBI highlighted 37 power plants which are still awaiting ministerial approval under section 36 of the 1989 Electricity Act. The plants predate the formation of the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), and include six biomass plants and an EfW facility. Altogether they represent a fifth of the UK’s current electricity generation capacity.
CBI business environment director Dr Neil Bentley said: “The Government must get a grip on planning. We need to build new low-carbon energy sources, including wind, biomass, gas, nuclear and clean coal plants. These are essential for securing our energy supplies and meeting emissions targets.
“The new planning regime must be streamlined, with ministers able to make timely decisions on infrastructure projects in the national interest. We need a planning system that encourages, not deters, investment.”
The CBI also claims that the decision to close the IPC and give decision-making powers on key waste infrastructure to ministers is now making investors “nervous” about committing to such projects.