The current Covid-19 pandemic has created significant challenges for national infrastructure consenting in the short, medium and long term. NIPA has been working to support the Government to help understand these challenges and seek practical ways forward within public health guidelines, to enable the regime to continue in a fair, accessible and inclusive way.

Thank you to all members who contributed to the discussion and preparation of our well-received paper on how to make the current NSIP process able to work effectively within these guidelines in the short term. We have maintained regular contact with Government through the national infrastructure teams at MHCLG and the Planning Inspectorate, to explore how the proposals in the paper can support their continuing work, and we hope to update members in due course.

To further inform our advice to Government we would now like to gather members’ views on how different infrastructure sectors are being affected, and suggestions on how to maintain fair and effective infrastructure planning processes as we all adjust to a new context.

We consider that in the coming months there will be a need to examine the policy context for different infrastructure sectors as they adjust to the new and changing realities as well as opportunities, recognising that issues such as climate change and regional differences continue to inform policy debate.

This new context may have an impact on the NSIP process in terms of where the Planning Inspectorate and Government departments need to focus their efforts. We also recognise the opportunity to reconsider the way people participate in the NSIP process, taking advantage of continued innovations in technologies that facilitate digital working.

Therefore, we have prepared a short survey covering three topics and would welcome a small amount of your time to provide insights that we can share with Government. This survey is primarily for Members. However, if you have someone in your network who you know would also be interested in responding please do feel free to forward on.

The three topics are:

1. Demand for Planning Inspectorate infrastructure services;
2. Digital working practices for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects; and
3. National Policy Statements and policy frameworks.

As with our Covid-19 paper, we will use responses to prepare a short NIPA paper which we will circulate to you for comment, and run a virtual discussion for members to easily input, prior to sharing our findings with MHCLG and the Planning Inspectorate. The paper will summarise the survey responses in an anonymised format and will not attribute responses to any individuals.

Please respond for final submissions by 23:59 10 June 2020.

Robbie Owen (NIPA Board Secretary), Tom Carpen (NIPA Board Member) and Angus Walker (NIPA Board Chair)

CLICK HERE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SURVEY