Government launches new consultation on role of planning in 'Future of Freight' plans

Thu 6 Jul 2023
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

Image of freight liner riding off into the sunset

The Department for Transport (DfT) and Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) have this week launched a new call for evidence on how UK freight and logistics interact with the country’s planning system.

The consultation builds on the ‘future of freight’ long-term plan published by the government last year. It seeks views from industry stakeholders so that their “planning needs” are “properly and effectively considered”.

The call for evidence closes on 6 October 2023.

Long-term plan

The Future of Freight plan identified five main policy priorities for the sector: the National Freight Network (NFN), enabling the transition to net zero, planning, people and skills, and data and technology.

The call for evidence into planning will look at three main areas: local plan making and land availability, planning decision taking and applications processes, and how the planning system can support specific policy priorities.

The government has highlighted supporting supply chains and the decarbonisation of freight as being among the specific policy priorities, alongside strengthening the Union and HGV drivers’ welfare.

‘Catalyst’

Jonathan Walker, the head of cities and infrastructure policy at Logistics UK, has welcomed the consultation, saying it is “much needed and should act as a catalyst for long-term planning reforms”.

“Logistics underpins every sector of the UK economy and it is vital that this is reflected in planning by acknowledging the need for logistics to support local communities, developing the necessary infrastructure to keep freight moving, incentivising investment in low or zero carbon operations and creating an environment that supports investment in logistics and warehousing sites,” he told UK Haulier.

Customs consultations

There are several ongoing government consultations at present, including calls for evidence on the package of customs measures announced alongside the Spring Budget in March.

The consultation on the ‘future of customs’ is looking for views on potential simplifications to customs declarations, as well as the way that businesses use technology in completing declarations and other customs processes.