Permission for nationally significant infrastructure projects

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

  • Permission for nationally significant infrastructure projects
  • National Policy Statements
  • Development consent orders
  • Projects that must or can use the PA 2008 regime
  • Projects for which the PA 2008 regime is mandatory
  • Projects for which the PA 2008 regime is optional
  • Business and commercial projects
  • Housing
  •  Directions in relation to projects of national significance
  • Application procedure
  • More...

Permission for nationally significant infrastructure projects

The Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) received Royal Assent on 26 November 2008. PA 2008 reformed the planning application process in England and Wales to provide a faster and fairer development consent system for nationally significant transport, energy, water and waste infrastructure projects.

A Development Consent Order (DCO) is the means of obtaining permission for developments categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP in England). Applications for NSIPs are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). The relevant Secretary of State is the decision maker on all applications for DCOs. The Secretary of State may advise on the merits of an application or proposed application.

In Wales, applications for ‘developments of national significance’ are made to the Welsh Ministers instead of the local planning authority (LPA). See Practice Note: Permission for nationally significant infrastructure projects—Wales—applications direct to Welsh Ministers—developments of national significance.

For guidance on the procedure for making a DCO, see Practice Notes: Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects—pre-application consultations and discussions, Application procedure for nationally significant infrastructure projects, Examination of nationally significant infrastructure projects—general and Examination of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects—procedure.

National Policy Statements

Applications for development consent are decided in accordance with National Policy Statements (NPSs), which set out the national policy in relation to NSIPs. NPSs undergo a democratic process of public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny, before being designated. There are 12

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