Rights of entry under the Planning Act 2008, s 53
Rights of entry under the Planning Act 2008, s 53

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

  • Rights of entry under the Planning Act 2008, s 53
  • Requirements of s 53
  • What kind of searches are authorised under s 53?
  • Application procedure
  • Form of application
  • Fees
  • Explanation of why authorisation is needed
  • Evidence of a 'distinct project of real substance’
  • Identifying persons with interest
  • Information to demonstrate that the applicant has acted reasonably and has been unreasonably refused access to the land
  • More...

Requirements of s 53

A person (‘the applicant’) who proposes to make or who has made a Development Consent Order (DCO) application under the Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) may apply for authorisation from the Secretary of State for a right to enter land owned by third parties, to:

  1. carry out surveys and take levels, and/or

  2. facilitate compliance with environmental impact assessment and habitats regulations assessment requirements

The Secretary of State can only authorise a right of entry onto third party land under s 53 in connection with:

  1. an application for a DCO, whether in relation to that or any other land, that has been accepted by the Secretary of State

  2. a proposed application for a DCO, or

  3. a DCO that includes provision authorising the compulsory acquisition of that land or of an interest in it or right over it

Authorisation may only be given by the Secretary of State under a proposed application for a DCO if it appears to the Secretary of State that the proposed applicant is considering a distinct project of real substance genuinely requiring entry onto the land.

See: Development consent orders—overview.

What kind of searches are authorised under s 53?

An authorisation under s 53 may include the power to search and bore to ascertain the nature of the subsoil or the presence of minerals or other matter in it and/or to take and

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