CBI warns on energy planning delays

Plans to hand powers to ministers to approve major energy infrastructure projects is making investors nervous about committing to large-scale building projects, according to the CBI. The decision to replace the independent Infrastructure Planning Commission with a Major Infrastructure Unit has been met with concern by the business group, which has identified applications for 37 power plants, inherited from the previous government, that are still awaiting ministerial approval. The CBI wants the government to clear the delayed applications in six months in order to give investors confidence the new planning system will be able to deliver timely decisions. Dr Neil Bentley, the CBI’s director of business environment, said: “We need a planning system that encourages, not deters investment.”