Sir Michael Pitt has been selected to chair the new Infrastructure Planning Commission.
The new IPC will be the body that will take decisions on applications for development consent for infrastructure proposals that are of national significance, such as waste and recycling proposals, based on clear statements of national policy set out by Government.
It is being established under the provisions of the Planning Act 2008 and will begin from October.
Housing and Planning Minister Margaret Beckett confirmed Sir Michaels appointment following his endorsement from the Communities and Local Government Select Committee last week. He is currently the chair of the South West Strategic Health Authority, which covers the operation of the NHS in the south west of England.
Sir Michael will officially take the role on 1 May. He will initially be participating in the recruitment of the chief executive and the other commissioners for the IPC.
Once the Commission is up and running Sir Michael is likely to be overseeing around 45 major cases a year and a larger number of less complex cases.
A consultation on the rules for developers submitting major applications to the IPC was also announced by the Department of Communities and Local Government.
The Planning Act includes the first ever statutory duty on developers to consult local communities. Potential applicants to the IPC will have to comply with statutory requirements to engage in pre-application consultation with local communities, local authorities, and those who would be directly affected by the proposals. This will give people a better opportunity to influence outcomes at an early stage.
Developers also get the opportunity to amend their plans before they reach the application stage with the aim of reducing delays later on.