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Government's Ports policy 'all at sea' says RTPI

22 February 2010

The RTPI, the professional body that represents 22,000 planners has slammed the Government's recently published draft planning policy on ports provision as 'unfit for purpose' in a formal response to the consultation on a National Policy Statement for Ports, which will determine how proposals to build new port facilities are decided upon by the new Infrastructure Planning Commission.

Matt Thomson, Acting Director Policy & Partnerships at the RTPI said:

\"The draft national policy statement on ports is not fit for purpose as it fails to justify the need for building any new ports, or give any guidance on how they should relate to road and rail networks or centres of industry or population.

Instead it leaves decisions about where ports should be entirely for the market to determine, which offers no security for investors or for local communities that may be affected. Nor does it consider impacts on Britain's existing ports, improvements to which may be a better option than building an entirely new port.\"

There is no identified urgency to provide new ports in the UK, with a number of port developments already under construction. The RTPI therefore urges the Department for Transport to think again about the need for this ports policy, instead of rushing out a half-baked proposal.\"