Labour would slash planning regulations in a reported bid to boost Britain’s green energy construction of wind farms and nuclear plants.
Sir Keir Starmer is set to make an announcement on climate change later this month, according to The Sunday Times, which is set to include a ‘fast track’ planning scheme.
It comes after the party faced criticism for appearing to water down its £28bn pledge on green investment after pushback over fiscal responsibility, when shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves confirmed the plans wouldn’t fully be in place until halfway through the parliament.
In a recent trip to Washington DC trip she highlighted her commitment to ‘securenomics’ as major economies, including the US’s, begin to renew a focus on onshoring key industries amid global supply turmoil in the wake of war in Ukraine.
Onshore wind turbines and nuclear power plants seen as crucial for energy security will be prioritised in planning targets if Labour wins the next general election, The Times said.
Starmer and shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband are also reportedly expecting to unveil a new framework for monitoring and speeding up decisions on national planning decisions.
Measures to ensure local communities benefit from clean energy infrastructure via lower bills are also expected to be part of his pledge.
Controversial moves such as removing areas’ veto power over development are said to be under discussion, which would likely prove less politically awkward than for the Tories.
One party source told The Times Labour was committed to green energy investment and claimed the current planning system is a “national embarrassment” and “holding back change”.
A government spokesperson said: “We are scaling up renewable energy sources around the UK and since 2010 we’ve increased the amount of renewable energy connected to the grid by 500 per cent – the second highest in Europe.
“Decisions about onshore wind are best made by local leaders who know their area best. We’ve consulted on proposals that will speed up planning permission where there is local support and are encouraging upgrades to existing wind farm sites.”