Fundamental reform of planning system urgently needed, says Logistics UK
Friday 06 October 2023
Logistics UK has today (6 October 2023) outlined the urgent need for fundamental reform of the planning system to speed up planning, ensure better efficiency of freight movements, support decarbonisation and enable the space for the logistics industry – which contributes £163 billion to the UK economy each year – to grow.
In its response to the ‘Freight and logistics and the planning system: call for evidence’ – which closes today – the business group also highlighted how stronger direction is needed from government to ensure national transport priorities are identified and embedded throughout the planning system. Jonathan Walker, Head of Cities and Infrastructure Policy at Logistics UK, comments:
“Planning plays a key role in ensuring the necessary infrastructure is in place to not only keep freight moving, but also expand the sector. Recent research by Oxford Economics identified that more targeted government investment and a closer working partnership with the logistics sector to help lift the barriers that currently inhibit industry, could boost annual UK GDP by up to £7.9 billion per year by 2030. Any planning reform must address these barriers and give the industry a platform on which to grow.”
In the view of Logistics UK, a joined-up approach in which local authorities engage with industry is also vital to the sector’s success. Mr Walker continues: “The logistics industry underpins every sector of the UK economy, and it is crucial the importance of our industry is recognised and reflected in planning reforms, not just at a national level, but also at a local level to support communities. Within our response, we have highlighted the need for local authorities to engage with industry on local plans from the outset, and throughout their development, to ensure the swift and sustainable delivery of crucial warehousing and logistics projects.
“The planning system also plays an important role in the lead up to net zero by 2050. The logistics sector recognises the need to decarbonise, and is working hard to do so, but must be enabled to achieve this through a more supportive planning environment that supports investment and enables the delivery of the right energy and transport infrastructure for a net zero future.”
Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With decarbonisation, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, water and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.