In June 2022 the Department for Transport published its first long-term plan for freight – the Future of Freight – which identified the actions that need to be taken in five priority areas in the freight and logistics sector:

  • the national freight network;
  • the transition to net-zero;
  • planning;
  • people and skills; and
  • data and technology.

In terms of planning, following a commitment made in the Future of Freight, the government has called for evidence to better understand how the planning system could support the freight and logistics sector. The consultation focuses on:  

  • Local plan making and land availability – including the effectiveness of local plans at identifying development needs and allocating sites for freight and logistics;
  • Planning decision taking and the applications process – such as whether a national freight network could be recognised in national planning policy; and
  • How the planning system can support specific policy priorities – including in relation to the decarbonisation of freight and the facilitation of high-quality HGV parking/driving infrastructure.

With over 200,000 logistics enterprises across the UK, this call to evidence is a long-waited opportunity for the planning system to better serve a sector that contributes an estimated £127 billion to the UK economy.

If you would like to respond, the consultation can be found here and closes on 6 October 2023.