Examination of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects—procedure
Examination of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects—procedure

The following Planning guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Examination of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects—procedure
  • Acceptance of application
  • Determination of procedure
  • Application changes during the examination phase
  • Recommendation to the SoS
  • SoS decision
  • Notification of decision

The Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) sets out a development consent regime for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) in the fields of energy, transport, water, waste water, and waste.

Applications for development consent orders (DCOs) may be decided in accordance with any applicable National Policy Statements (NPSs), which set out the national policy in relation to NSIPs. See Practice Note: National Policy Statements.

Although the Secretary of State (SoS) bears legal responsibility for the decision, in practice, the government delegates responsibility for accepting and examining applications to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS).

See Practice Note: Examination of nationally significant infrastructure projects—general.

Acceptance of application

Once the SoS has accepted the application for a DCO, it notifies the applicant within 28 days beginning with the day after the day on which the application was received.

This notification reminds the applicant of the requirement to notify affected parties of the application and to make copies of the application available. The applicant must certify to the SoS that it has complied with these requirements before examination of the application can commence. See Practice Note: Application procedure for nationally significant infrastructure projects and Flowchart: Development consent order (DCO) application procedure—flowchart..

Determination of procedure

The Examining Authority (EA) determines the examination procedure in accordance with statutory procedural rules.

The examination of applications must be carried out in public,