ENA Gives Evidence to Planning Bill Committee

15 January 2008

ENA Gives Evidence to Planning Bill Committee

ENA gave evidence last week to the Planning Bill Committee highlighting why the Government’s reform proposals are vital if we are to deliver the billions needed to maintain the UK’s reliable supply of energy and low carbon economy.

Dr. Phil Jones OBE, President and Chief Operating officer CE Electric UK and David Smith, acting Chief Executive of the ENA explained to MPs on the Planning Bill Committee why a new approach to energy infrastructure is needed, the key role for democratic accountability in the planning process and why the energy sector should be exempt from the proposed new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

David Smith said "The evidence session allowed us to highlight the need to develop a more streamlined and responsive planning system. The Planning Bill should not only deliver a rationalised planning process for electricity and gas distribution and transmission projects but enhance community consultation. With this Bill we have the opportunity to ensure the voice of everyone impacted by a development is heard.

"We also had the opportunity to raise our concerns about the potential negative impact of CIL on energy development. We do not disagree with its objective to require developers to contribute to the additional local and regional infrastructure arising from their developments. However, as networks are part of the infrastructure itself that is needed when other developments are approved, to charge us would seem perverse."