UK Government

Communities and Local Government (National): New decision makers for the Infrastructure Planning Commission are announced

Press Release   •   Dec 16, 2009 11:22 GMT

More key decision-makers for the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) were appointed today, Tuesday 15 December.

More key decision-makers for the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) were appointed today, Tuesday 15 December.

Three additional Commissioners were appointed - Gideon Amos, Katherine Bryan and Emrys Parry - to ensure that the IPC hits the ground running when it starts to take applications from 1 March 2010. They will act as the decision-makers, either individually or sitting on panels, on nationally significant infrastructure projects.

The IPC will be a one stop development consent process for major infrastructure projects such as large wind farms, power stations and railways. The new Commission will be critical to improving the UK’s infrastructure now and in the future, maintaining and improving our quality of life, protecting our prosperity and safeguarding the environment in an increasingly competitive global economy.

The new system will be faster and fairer with fuller public scrutiny. People will be able to make their case at every stage of the application and decision-making process and speak at open-floor hearings. Under the IPC the length of typical major applications is expected to fall to under a year and the new system could save up to £300m a year.

The route map document, covering the whole programme to introduce the new planning regime for major infrastructure projects, was updated and published today, demonstrating that implementation of the IPC is on track. The IPC has been up and running since 1 October, advising promoters and other interested parties on the new process, for example ensuring that they consult local communities effectively and prepare their applications to a high standard. 

Applications from the energy and transport sectors will be received from 1 March 2010 and it is expected that the IPC will carry out its first examinations over the following summer.

Welcoming the appointments, IPC Chair Sir Michael Pitt said:

"Gideon, Katherine and Bryan are very experienced professionals and valued appointments. We have built a strong team, ready to do business."

Notes to editors

1. On 1 October 2009 the Planning Act 2008 established a new, independent body, the Infrastructure Planning Commission, which will be responsible for considering and making decisions on significant infrastructure planning applications from 1 March 2010. As a non-departmental public body, the IPC will operate within the policy framework prescribed in the Planning Act secondary legislation and the National Policy Statements. 

2. NPSs covering Energy and Ports were published on 9 November 2009. Subject to the outcome of public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny, we expect these NPSs to be designated over the course of next year.

3.  Further NPSs will follow in due course.  The National Networks (road and rail) NPS is expected to be published early next year and designated by the end of 2010.. We expect to consult on the Waste Water NPSs in spring 2010 and the Hazardous Waste NPS in summer 2010, with the aim of designating them in 2011. We intend to consult on the Airports NPS in 2011 with a view to designating it later that year. Finally we hope to consult on the Water Supply NPS in late 2010 - once the final Water Resource Management Plans are published, which are needed to inform the NPS - with the aim of designating that NPS by early 2012.

4. Where a relevant NPS is in place, the IPC will then take the decision on an application. If the relevant NPS has yet to be designated, the IPC will instead report with a recommendation to ministers.

5. Biographies for Commissioners:

Katharine Bryan

On graduating from Durham University with a degree in Botany and Geography, Katharine went on to complete an MSc in the Biology of Water Management at Aston University in Birmingham. Her career has spanned both the water industry and environment sectors, starting with Severn Trent Water Authority and on privatisation, taking senior management roles in the National Rivers Authority and Environment Agency in the Midlands and South West England. After working as Chief Executive of North of Scotland Water, she moved to Northern Ireland as CE of Water Service and to transform this Civil Service agency into a fully regulated government owned company, Northern Ireland Water. Her non executive experience included chairmanship of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. Currently, she is a non executive director of Defence Estates (MoD).

Gideon Amos OBE

Gideon is Chief Executive of the Town and Country Planning Association. 
A qualified urban designer and a chartered architect, he came to the TCPA in 2000, after four years as Director of Planning Aid for London.  At the TCPA he co-authored “A Programme for Sustainable Communities” and edited the report “Connecting England – A Framework for Regional Development”. He is a member of the Planning Sounding Board at the Department for Communities and Local Government and a member of the Government’s 2016 Taskforce to achieve zero carbon homes.  He is also a Fellow of the RSA, and in his spare time he a non-executive Board member of Swan Housing Association.

In December 2008 Gideon received an OBE for services to sustainable development.

Emrys Parry

Emrys is a solicitor who began his career in Local Government in South Wales before moving to the Land Authority for Wales in 1977 where he was legal adviser for some years before moving to private practice in London in 1985.

He has been a partner in a private practice for over 20 years and latterly has headed up the Planning and Regeneration Division of Bond Pearce LLP solicitors where he specialises in property development, town and country planning and is an acknowledged expert in compulsory purchase law.

He is a legal associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute and is past chairman and currently Secretary of the Compulsory Purchase Association. 

6. In accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees' political activity (if any) to be made public. Any political activity is set out above.

7. The Commissioner appointments will require a time commitment of 3-5 days per week for an annual remuneration of £100,000 pro rata.