The planning system for adding significant capacity to national rail and rail networks includes a national policy statement that obviates the need for discussion of national policy at local planning enquiries. The existing statement dates from 2015, and the Department for Transport has been consulting on a updated version that takes account, in particular, of the development of policy on transport decarbonisation. The House of Commons Transport Committee has published a critical report that highlights shortcoming in the DfT draft. I submitted evidence.
The DfT draft fails to reconcile the wish to continue investment in additional road capacity with the need to achieve Net Zero objectives. We await with interest the final text of the policy statement, to see if the Department can do better, so lessening the risk successful challenges in the courts.