Following the 2010 Penfold Review and the November 2012 consultation, on 12 March 2013 the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published its response to proposals to expand and improve the “one-stop shop” approach to obtaining non-planning consents for NSIPs under the Planning Act 2008.

The response explains that DCLG has/intends to implement the following changes:

  • DCLG has established a Consents Service Unit (CSU) within the Planning Inspectorate (which became operational from April 2013), to streamline and improve co-ordination and communication between the Planning Inspectorate, applicants and other consenting bodies. The CSU offers a bespoke service to developers, providing a lead contact “to co-ordinate a logical and systematic approach to the handling of 12 different consents which may be required in addition to development consent under the 2008 Act. These consents could be required durign the construction phase and/or the operational phase.” The aim is to ensure that, where possible, these are dealt with in parallel.
  • In response to comments about the complexity of particular consents, DCLG intends to streamline the list of non-planning consents that sit outside the Planning Act 2008 development consent process by removing 16 different consents from the Infrastructure Planning (Miscellaneous Prescribed Provisions) Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/105).
  • DCLG will update and streamline the list of prescribed statutory consultees in secondary legislation, reducing it by at least one-third.

A full review of the national infrastructure planning regime is planned for 2014.