Review of Ports Policy: National Statement Examined

The government is committed to a strong planning regime for nationally significant infrastructure which properly takes into account impacts on the natural environment, air quality and valued landscapes, and the views of local communities affected by development.

The national policy statement for ports was published in 2012. While the statement continues to provide an appropriate framework for planning decisions in relation to ports infrastructure development and associated development, such as road and rail links, it is important to ensure the statement continues to support decision making effectively.

In the Freeports bidding prospectus, the government set out its intention to review the national policy statement for ports in 2021. I am today announcing a review of the national policy statement for ports under the provisions of the Planning Act 2008. This review will include a thorough examination of the modelling and forecasts that support the statement of need for development, and the environmental, safety, resilience, and local community considerations that planning decisions must take into account.

Reviewing the national policy statement for ports will ensure that it remains fit for purpose in supporting the government’s commitments for appropriate development of infrastructure for ports and associated road and rail links.

For the avoidance of doubt, the existing national policy statement for ports will remain in full effect during the period of the review. Any current or upcoming applications for development consent will be assessed under the current national policy statement for ports.

New framework to ensure road and rail development projects protect the environment news story, 14 March 2023.

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