The planning regime for nuclear new build in England and Wales
Produced in partnership with Burges Salmon

The following Planning practice note produced in partnership with Burges Salmon provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The planning regime for nuclear new build in England and Wales
  • Planning policy
  • Energy National Policy Statements
  • Role of NPSs under PA 2008
  • Relationship with EN-1
  • Infrastructure covered by the NPS
  • Geographical coverage
  • Period of validity and review
  • Appraisal of sustainability
  • Interaction with Habitats Directive
  • More...

The planning regime for nuclear new build in England and Wales

This Practice Note focuses on the planning regime for new nuclear build facilities. It covers the policy basis for the consenting of new nuclear plants, the appeal and judicial review processes and the implications for the nuclear planning regime of the UK’s exit from the EU. For information generally about nuclear licensing and regulation, see: Nuclear licensing and regulation—overview. Additional consents, such as licensing from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), are dealt with in Practice Note: Operating under a nuclear site licence.

Planning policy

Energy National Policy Statements

The government's policy on major infrastructure projects is set out in a series of National Policy Statements (NPSs)—statutory documents published in accordance with the Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008). NPSs provide a framework for the Secretary of State when considering development consent applications for energy infrastructure projects of national significance. Between late 2009 and early 2010, the government published and consulted on six draft NPSs. These included:

  1. an overarching Energy NPS (EN-1), and

  2. an NPS that sets out specific issues in relation to applications for development consent orders (DCOs) for new nuclear power stations (EN-6)

The NPS documents were subjected to parliamentary scrutiny and the government consolidated the consultation responses. Final versions of EN-1 and EN-6 were published in July 2011.

The current EN-6 addresses nuclear power stations with a

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