Having considered consultation responses and the report of the previous Select Committee on Transport, I am today (24 October 2015) laying before Parliament the National Policy Statement for ports in England and Wales, pursuant to section 5(9)(b) of the Planning Act 2008, together with the government’s response to the committee.
I am also publishing, on the department’s website, a written response to the consultation and an updated version of the ‘Appraisal of sustainability’ that had been published as part of the consultation process.
The ports industry is a vital contributor to this country’s economic recovery and success. Well over 90% of trade by tonnage passes through sea ports, and so the importance of a clear planning framework for their future sustainable development can hardly be overstated.
The NPS gives full prominence to the importance of development in sympathy with the environment, while also stressing the national need for developers’ commercial judgements to be respected in what continues to be a successful, market-oriented and responsible sector.
It has been agreed with the House that the same procedure as proposed in the Localism Bill will be followed for the NPS. The Secretary of State intends to designate the NPS after a period of 21 sitting days has elapsed, or following a debate in the House of Commons if the House wishes one, and approves the NPS, within that period.