26 July, 2023
The UK Government is consulting on plans to speed up the permitting process for National Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP), which includes offshore wind schemes in England and Wales.
Following the publication of the NSIP Action Plan in February 2023, the government says it is committed to bringing forward reforms to ensure the existing system can support our future infrastructure needs.
It intends to so this by making the NSIP consenting process "better, faster, greener, fairer and more resilient by 2025".
The key operational changes we are consulting on will make the system work more effectively for applicants, local authorities and communities, it added.
The proposals include operation reform to support a faster consenting process; recognising the role of local communities and strengthening engagement; and building a more diverse and resilient resourcing model.
Sam Richards, founder and campaign director for pro-growth campaign group Britain Remade, said: "Slashing bureaucracy and red-tape in order to get spades in the ground as quickly as possible for new offshore wind farms, transport links and nuclear power stations is a start, but Government must go further.
"Despite this welcome announcement, new onshore wind farms, one of the cheapest sources of energy available, are still banned in England – condemning millions of people to higher energy bills.
"Ministers must act now to reverse the ban so that Britain can be energy secure and households can enjoy lower bills."
Responses should be submitted by 19 September at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/operational-reforms-to-the-nationally-significant-infrastructure-project-consenting-process