Infrastructure Planning Commission

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The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC)[1] was a non-departmental public body responsible for the examining and in certain circumstances the decision making body for proposed nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) in England and Wales. The IPC was established by the Planning Act 2008 and began operating on 1 October 2009. It closed on 1 April 2012, with its functions transferred to a new Infrastructure Planning Unit within the Planning Inspectorate.[2]

The IPC examined accepted applications for development consent for proposed projects that meet certain thresholds, as set out in Part 3 of the 2008 Act. In England, its remit covered applications for proposed energy, transport, water, waste water and waste infrastructure projects. Its remit in Wales only covered proposed energy and harbour projects.

The framework for decision-making of applications for development consent was set out in National Policy Statements (NPS). Following the designation of a NPS, the 2008 Act provided jurisdiction for the IPC to decide applications in that field. While an NPS is in draft form, the IPC acted as Examining authority and provided a report of recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State who was to take the decision.

The IPC’s powers to receive, accept and examine applications for development consent came into force on 1 March 2010; prior to this it provided advice and guidance about the application process.

The Chair of the IPC was Sir Michael Pitt and the chief executive was John Saunders.


The Coalition Government's Localism Act 2011 contained clauses to abolish the IPC and transfer its decision making powers in all cases to the relevant Secretary of State. The Act gained royal assent on 15 November 2011. From 1 April 2012, the acceptance and examination of applications for development consent is dealt with by a new Infrastructure Planning Unit within the Planning Inspectorate.

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