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Our Common Sense Plan for Planning

To address the Government’s Net Zero targets, ENA has prepared a ‘Nine-Point Plan’, detailing those areas of the current system that require procedural and systemic reform.

To address the Government’s Net Zero targets, ENA has prepared a ‘Nine-Point Plan’, detailing those areas of the current system that require procedural and systemic reform.

ENA’s Nine-Point Plan is as follows:

  1. Point 1: Overhead Line Exemption Regulations 2013 and Section 37 Consents - ENA proposes a widening of the categories of Permitted Development for which planning permission is not required, including the rebuilding of overhead power lines from single to three phase, and the alteration of the conductor type on low voltage networks.
  2. Point 2: Consents in Private Streets - Reform is required to address the ambiguity in the current process for acquiring rights for apparatus in private streets under Section 10 and Schedule 4, Paragraph 1 Electricity Act 1989 (the “EA 1989”).
  3. Point 3: Access Rights to Apparatus - Reform is required to amend access powers under Schedule 6, Paragraph 9 EA 1989 so that such rights can be exercised by both electricity distribution and transmission owners. Currently these rights do not apply to the transmission network.
  4. Point 4: Felling and Lopping of Trees - Reform is required to simplify the process for network operators to gain access to land to undertake safety/operational critical vegetation management works under Schedule 4, Paragraph 9 EA 1989.
  5. Point 5: Town and Country Planning Act – Permitted Development[2] - ENA proposes amendments to the General Permitted Development Order to extend the size of substations above the existing 29 cubic metres that qualify as Permitted Development.
  6. Point 6: Retention of existing rights - Reform is required to ensure that the process for acquiring rights to retain apparatus (Schedule 3 and Schedule 4, Paragraph 8 EA 1989) is fair and balanced.
  7. Point 7: Acquisition of new land rights - Reforms are required to improve the process for acquiring land or permanent rights over land (Schedule 3, EA 1989) and the process for acquiring termed necessary wayleaves (Schedule 4, Paragraph 6 EA 1989).
  8. Point 8: Acquisition of Land - Reform is required to speed up the process for network operators to acquire land compulsorily under Section 10, Schedule 3 EA 1989 (for example, for the delivery of new primary and distribution substations).
  9. Point 9: Code of Practice - It is recommended that industry stakeholders develop a Code of Practice to include all changes to the current statutory framework.

This report sets out detailed reform proposals that are intended to address each of the aims highlighted in the Nine-Point Plan.