It’s a busy time for Parliament looking at the Government’s draft national policy statements (NPSs). Our post on 20 January reported on the Transport Select Committee’s look at ports. The week before we were up in front of the Energy and Climate Change Committee looking at the energy NPSs (an hour and five minutes into the session if you want to watch the video).
We stood shoulder to shoulder with other NGOs (Campaign to Protect Rural England, Friends of the Earth and WWF) in our criticism. It wasn’t easy covering six NPSs in an hour, especially as one of the MPs took us rather off piste with an attack on NIMBY NGOs. We’re not trying to stop all development – in fact, much of the energy infrastructure which will be built over the next few years is vital if we’re to move to a low carbon economy.
But we do believe that proper strategic planning, with good community consultation and environmental assessment, is essential to steer development away from environmentally-damaging options.
That’s what we haven’t seen in the draft NPSs, and that’s the message the Committee heard from us. You can see some summaries of the discussion here and here.
We also sent the Committee the report we commissioned on the NPSs’ appraisals of sustainability, hot off the press. We’ll be publishing it soon, so watch this space.