On 19th July 2011 Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change designated the National Policy Statements (NPSs) under the Planning Act 2008. This follows a House of Commons debate on 18th July 2011 approving the six NPSs. The energy NPSs set out national policy against which proposals for major energy projects will be assessed and decided on by the Infrastructure Planning Commission. In future, if the changes to the Planning Act 2008 set out in the Localism Bill are enacted, they will also be the primary documents for the new Major Infrastructure Planning Unit (within the Planning Inspectorate) to use in its examination of applications for development consent, and for Ministers when making decisions.
This means that the IPC will now DECIDE the Covanta application rather than make an recommendation to the Secretary of State and this will be on or before October 15th 2011.
Copies of all the designated NPSs, the finalised post-adoption statement and associated environmental statements (Appraisals of Sustainability (AoSs) and Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRAs)) are available at: http://www.energynpsconsultation.decc.gov.uk.
For those interested in following the debate over the National Policy Energy statements the link is as follows:-