The government publishes a consultation (until 19/09/2023) relating to the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) consenting process …

[UPDATE: For the subsequent government response to this consultation, please view this post.]

The government has published the following consultation, which runs for 8 weeks from 25/07/2023 until 19/09/2023:

Consultation document:

  • July 2023: Consultation on operational reforms to the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) consenting process (link) (pdf print version of HTML webpage).

Notes:

  • The "Introduction" section within the above consultation document includes the following information:
    - "This consultation sets out our proposed reforms to the operation of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) system through the Planning Act 2008 consenting process and outlines how we intend to bring these measures forward through secondary legislation and guidance changes over the coming months. This includes measures to:
    >>> strengthen the role of pre-application and ensure consultation is effective and proportionate
    >>> support faster and more proportionate examinations
    >>> establish a fast-track route to consent
    >>> review the process for post consent changes to a Development Consent Order
    >>> and ensure the system is adequately resourced through:
    >>> >>> resourcing the Planning Inspectorate and updating existing fees
    >>> >>> strengthening the performance of government's expert bodies
    >>> >>> improved engagement with local authorities and communities
    >>> >>> building the skills needed to support infrastructure delivery".
    - "The measures set out in this consultation build on the powers already being taken forward through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. This includes powers to enable the Secretary of State to set shorter statutory timeframes for examination, as well as the ability for the Secretary of State to make provision by regulations for the decision making on non-material change applications. The measures also include a power to introduce, through regulations, provision for cost-recovery for prescribed statutory consultees providing services in connection with Development Consent Order applications.".
    - "This consultation focuses on operational reforms to the NSIP consenting process and does not cover strategic aspects of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project reform programme, such as updating the existing National Policy Statements, proposals for Biodiversity and Marine Net Gain and changes to environmental assessment which are being progressed separately.".

Other sources of information:

  • August 2021: National Infrastructure Planning Reform Programme - stakeholder survey (pdf print version of HTML webpage) (link).
    - Note: For more information about the above document, please view this post.
  • February 2023: Nationally Significant Infrastructure - action plan for reforms to the planning process (link) (pdf print version of HTML webpage).
    - Note: For more information about the above document, please view this post.
  • February 2023: Government press release - "Cross-government plan to speed up delivery of major infrastructure projects" (link).
  • July 2023: Government press release - "Planning changes to speed up delivery of vital infrastructure" (link).