A new National Policy Statement (NPS) for National Road and Rail Networks and what it could mean for woods and trees

Woodland Matters

UK_motorway_symbol The Government launched this consultation document in December last year and  the title alone raises at least two questions:

What is A National Policy Statement (NPS)?

The 2008 Planning Act introduced a new decision making process for nationally significant infrastructure projects. Instead of being considered by the local planning authority applications within certain sectors and of a certain size are fast tracked to the Planning Inspectorate (PINs).

The NPSs are produced by the government. They provide the framework for Planning Inspectors to make recommendations to the Secretary of State, who makes the final decision on these applications.

What are National Road and Rail Networks?

The document defines these as ‘National rail and strategic rail freight interchange developments’. The strategic road network is managed by the Highways Agency and accounts for most major trunk roads and all motorways in England. This strategic road network accounts for only 2% of the…

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