Power cuts likely if energy expansion is delayed

The United Kingdom is in danger of facing serious electricity shortages five years from now if the plans to develop new nuclear and renewable energy facilities are held up. This warning came from the Confederation of British Industries.

The Confederation of British Industries has at the same time cautioned members of parliament against watering down of a new fast-track planning system since it would result in delays in the development of new electricity generating stations.

The deputy director-general of the Confederation of British Industries, John Cridland, argued that shooting down the planning system would have serious consequences for the country.

The prime minister is likely to fail at the House of Commons when the Planning Bill is debated by members of parliament on the floor of the house. Ministers have repeatedly said that the goal of the Planning Bill is to reduce the time taken for big energy and transport schemes to take off. The ministers are proposing that a new independent planning commission be formed and which would have the powers to decide the siting of power stations and other huge infrastructure schemes.

Over sixty backbenchers from the Labour party have signed a Commons motion expressing their reservations about the new Planning Bill. Thirty of them are understood to be ready to water down the bill.

The local authorities have also expressed their anger for not being made part of the planning process because it denies the locals the power to say no to projects that are not in their best interests.