Pathetic reporting and tweeting across the British media about the supposed 1 year ‘dither’ on Heathrow.
has there ever been a more abject, humiliating show of political cowardice than successive UK governments’ dithering on London airports
Well yes actually the changes to the Infrastructure Planning Regime introduced by the government he was chief adviser to. Its his fault.
A bit of background.
The brown government introduced reforms to planning of major infrastructure following alarm at the multi years delays to the public inquiry to T5.
The key changes being
- A new body, the Infrastructure Planning Commission would make the decisions
- These decisions would be based on new national policy statements
- Hearings and the decision-making process would be timetabled
- The Secretary of State would not be able to have the final say on major infrastructure decisions
The 2010 Election Manifesto
- Opposed a third Runway at Heathrow
- Proposed to abolish the Infrastructure Planning Commission
After the election rather than completely abolishing the IPC it was folded into the Planning Inspectorate and the Localism Act 2011 gave a final decision to Parliament
These changes would add several months to any major infrastructure decision.
The revised regime prevented matters of detail bogging down public inquires and took years off decision making. It is universally recognised as working well. Ministries publish national planning statements which are subject to consultation and inquiries only deal with local matters.
It has always been the case since the 2008 reforms that the National Policy Statements on Airports would be subject to public consultation (as a matter of English Common Law) and this would be the major delay once an executive decision on runway capacity was made.
The only innovation made by the May Government was rather than a select committee scrutinizing the draft NPS as the main means of legislative scrutiny there to be a vote of full Parliament rather than SOS decision solely. This does not require fresh legislation, it is imply the legislature executing the right to restrict crown perogative.
Consultation is needed because:
- The Airports NPS until now has never been published
- The government policy till now has been to restrict expansion
- The main caselaw on need for consultation relates to Heathrow
So Hilton doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about and reveals he didnt have a clue about the impact of various policies in the 2010 Conservative Manifesto.