Matt Thomson, RTPI's Head of Policy, this week (14 December) gave evidence to the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee.
Chaired by Tim Yeo MP, the Select Committee were looking at the revised draft national policy statements on energy. The Institute was invited to appear only a few days before the committee meeting, alongside representatives of environmental campaign groups, energy infrastructure providers and investors.
The committee's questioning focused on the climate for financial investment in infrastructure, and in response to the issue of whether the revised NPSs assisted investors, Matt emphasised the need for NPSs to manage competing interests in land, saying that the NPSs did not really give clear guidance on \"how the decision makers should weigh up [developers'] investment criteria with the other criteria that may be important to other sectors of the community or to other investors.\"
Questions were also raised about the potential impact of the Localism Bill on the delivery of national infrastructure and Matt expressed his understanding that \"neighbourhood plans will need to demonstrate that they are in accordance with other, more strategic plans, which presumably include NPSs\" and as a result \"there is perhaps less of a conflict than we were concerned about, given some of the rhetoric ahead of the Bill's publication.\"