On 6 September 2021 the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (“BEIS”) published five draft energy-related National Policy Statements (“NPSs”) for consultation. Those NPSs had not been updated since 2011 and so this review, trailed in the Energy White Paper (Autumn 2020), was very much welcome.
NIPA hosted a NIPA Matters event on 1 November 2021for members to discuss the policy changes in the NPSs, followed by a meeting held on 10 November 2021 of a working group convened to discuss views on the detail of the proposed policy. Comments received from those events were collated into a detailed response to BEIS’ consultation that was submitted by the deadline of 29 November 2021 and which can be read below.
Our main point was that the Government has identified: (i) a need for significant amounts of new large-scale energy infrastructure to meet its energy objectives; (ii) that need as being urgent and should be given substantial weight; and (iii) it will not be possible to develop the necessary amounts of such infrastructure without some significant residual adverse impacts, and that message must be communicated in the strongest possible terms in the NPSs so that it is not undermined in DCO decision-making.
We will follow up by looking for opportunities to meet with BEIS and DLUHC to discuss our recommendations. We have also submitted a short memorandum to the House of Commons BEIS Committee in line with our response to BEIS, as an input to its inquiry into the revised NPSs.
Our thanks to all of those who have led or contributed to this very comprehensive and detailed response, which we hope government will find helpful.