National Policy Statements
National Policy Statements

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

  • National Policy Statements
  • Contents of NPSs
  • Procedure for making NPSs
  • Sectors covered by NPSs
  • Making the decision whether to consent an NSIP
  • Review
  • Legal challenges to NPSs
  • Participation by potential promoters and objectors

National Policy Statements (NPSs) are statutory documents published in accordance with the Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008). They set out the government's policy on particular types of nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs), in particular, they set out the national need for the particular type of infrastructure development which they cover. They are published separately to policy in the National Planning Policy Framework, which does not contain policies specific to NSIPs. National Infrastructure Planning—National Policy StatementsPlanning Act 2008, s 104

NPSs provide the frameworkwithin which the Secretary of State (SoS) makes its decisions on NSIP applications for development consent. Where an NPS has effect in relation to development for which an application for an order granting development consent is made, the SoS must decide the application in accordance with that NPS, unless to do so would be unlawful (for example because it would lead to non-compliance with some other obligation) or because the adverse impacts outweigh the benefits (see Making the decision whether to consent an NSIP below). See Practice Notes: Permission for nationally significant infrastructure projects, Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects—pre-application consultations and discussions and Application procedure for nationally significant infrastructure projects.

The 2007 White Paper, which called for the establishment of the NSIP regime, explained that NPS would establish the case for national infrastructure development, having integrated economic, environmental and social objectives in order to deliver sustainable development. They would provide a clear statement of policy and the nature of infrastructure development necessary to deliver our wider goals of improving people’s quality of life, economic prosperity and protecting and enhancing the environment. As such, the White Paper envisaged that when individual