Making changes to Development Consent Orders
Making changes to Development Consent Orders

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

  • Making changes to Development Consent Orders
  • Ways to change a DCO
  • Avoiding the need to change
  • Correction orders
  • Non-material changes
  • Material changes
  • What constitutes a material change?
  • Procedure
  • Fees
  • Combining types of variation to a DCO

Ways to change a DCO

Development Consent Orders (DCOs) grant consent for nationally significant infrastructure projects under the Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008). Once a DCO has been made, it can be changed by way of a:

  1. correction order

  2. non-material change order

  3. material change order

  4. new application

Different procedures apply to applications for each type of change.

The government and the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) have both published guidance on the powers and procedures for making a change to a DCO.

Avoiding the need to change

PINS Advice Note 6 Preparation and Submission of Application Documents emphasises the Examining Authority (EA)'s approach that once an application has been submitted and accepted by the EA, there will only be limited opportunity to submit additional or amended information and the Secretary of State will be unable to accept post-submission changes to applications where those changes would result in a materially different scheme during the examination of the application.

Therefore, applicants need to ensure that their proposals are sufficiently developed and consulted upon prior to formal submission to the Secretary of State, taking full account of relevant legislation and guidance. The purpose of the statutory pre-application stage is to front-load project development and require applicants to comprehensively prepare their applications.

Correction orders

The PA 2008, s 119 and Schedule 4 enable the decision-maker to correct a