Infrastructure Bill will allow sale of land, fracking, nuclear without consent
What’s included in the Bill?
The proposed Infrastructure Bill mandates that local councils relinquish 90% of their brownfield land to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). Brownfield sites are previously developed sites that have become vacant, contaminated but could be reused and include arks, playing fields, allotments, woodlands, public facilities and village greens.
Once in possession of this land, the HCA will then be able to transfer it to private developers along with any rights that we, the public, would have had to it. Schedule 3 of the bill specifically states that…
…the property, rights and liabilities that may be transferred by a scheme include… property, rights and liabilities that would not otherwise be capable of being transferred or assigned
In terms of public easements (rights of use), public rights of way or considerations for consecrated ground, the government will have the power to remove any and all of these rights as they see fit.
These transfers are to take effect irrespective of any requirement to obtain a person’s consent or concurrence, any liability in respect of a contravention of another requirement, or any other interference with an interest or right, which would otherwise apply.
In addition to the above, private companies who obtains these lands will no longer be subject to local planning regulations and consultation. The Secretary of State will be able to give the green light to any development without any local politicians’, residents’ or planners’ involvement, simply by consulting a panel of two people.
This would provide an avenue for unpopular fracking projects, nuclear plants, landfill sites and other developments to be placed on public land without the public being able to object.
Support the fight back
The good news is that this bill is still in the first committee stage in the House of Lords. If we take action now, we could stop this bill before it ever law. Here are a few of the steps you can take to stop this bill:
- Sign the 38 degrees campaign to stop the Infrastructure Bill.
- Contact your local Lord, MP or Local Councillor(s) to opposed the bill.
- Join your local anti-fracking group and help them to oppose the bill.
- Consider speaking at your next local council meeting about the bill and its ramifications.
The bill and its supporting documents: http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2014-15/infrastructure.html
Schnews, who first reported on the bill: http://www.schnews.org.uk/stories/SEEING-INFRA-RED/