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PR 1 - Nuclear energy policy fails to meet standards of good planning and public engagement

10 January 2008

The Royal Town Planning Institute, in response to Business Secretary, John Hutton's announcement today of the plan to build new nuclear power stations, has criticised the way Government has introduced the policy. The announcement highlights exactly how not to approach national policy setting. Government has failed in their duty to properly consult with communities who will be directly affected. They have also failed to demonstrate alternative options and why nuclear is the most effective way forward.

Robert Upton, RTPI Secretary General said: \"This is not how to set national policy. Government have failed in their duty to have an open and honest consultation on all the options. They have failed to engage with communities.

\"Government must learn their lesson from this shambles when it comes to setting future national policy statements as outlined in the Planning Bill currently making its way through Parliament.\"

Last year Greenpeace took the Government to the high court accusing them of not undertaking effective statutory consultation. The judge ruled in favour of Greenpeace saying the consultation process had been, \"seriously flawed\" and \"procedurally unfair\". In response, then Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested the consultation process will change but the policy will not.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Andrew Kliman, RTPI Communications Manager: 0207 929 9479

Editors Notes:

1. The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. Through our 20,000 members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work. As well as promoting spatial planning, RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development. For further general information, visit the RTPI website at: www.rtpi.org.uk
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