Following the wider technical consultation on planning over the summer, the Government has issued its response on the parts relating to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.

The proposals set out in the consultation will largely come forward unaltered.

Subject to the Infrastructure Bill being enacted, the changes should be introduced in the current Parliamentary term. This will be welcomed as a number of uncertainties of the current system will be clarified, enabling projects which need to change, to come forward more quickly.

Set out in more detail in this briefing is the Government's response to the submissions it received and the changes that will be taken forward.

Changes to Development Consent Orders

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Making a non-material change

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Making a material change​

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Future Guidance on procedures

The Government will work with PINS to produce guidance covering:

  • Assessment of whether changes are material or not.
  • Practical details on submitting non-material and material change applications.
  • The pre-application stage for material changes and consultation requirements, including the role of statutory consultees.
  • Examples of the circumstances when the Secretary of State may decide not to hold an examination into a material change.
  • The circumstances where the Secretary of State may decide to use the power to decline to determine an application for a material change.

The Government response notes that the Guidance will not be able to cover every eventuality and will be non-exhaustive. It will be updated as best practice develops.

Timing for the changes?

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