Planning & Consents

Planning and Consents

The DBS projects are classed as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) as they are in excess of 100MW. As such, we are required to submit a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the UK Government (via the Planning Inspectorate).

You can find out more information on the planning process on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Planning Inspectorate website

The diagram below shows the 6 stages of the DCO application process and a brief description of what each stage means for the project.

01. Pre-Application (Current Stage)

This is the current stage of our application. Following the Statutory Consultation, we will further refine the design envelope for the projects and will communicate them to stakeholders.

03. Pre-Examination

If the planning application is accepted, we will put adverts in newspapers and issue a newsletter to inform the public the applications are proceeding to the Pre-Examination phase.

Our formal notification will detail how you can register to take part in the examination process. Anyone wishing to take part will need to register as an ‘Interested Party’ in order to make a ‘Relevant Representation’, which is simply a summary of your interest in the application.

05. Recommendation & Decision

Once the examination period has closed, the Planning Inspectorate will prepare a report and deliver to the relevant Secretary of State within Government. The report will include a recommendation on whether to grant a DCO to the project and the Secretary of State will then make the decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent. The decision will be published on the Planning Inspectorate website.

02. Acceptance

Once we submit our application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate, they will have up to 28 days to decide if our application meets the standards required to be accepted for examination.

04. Examination

The Examination period opens with the Preliminary Meeting, and anyone who has registered as an Interested Party will be invited to attend. A Preliminary Meeting is a procedural meeting run by the ExA to agree the examination process and related timescales. Once the Preliminary Meeting has taken place, the formal examination process will commence and will last for up to six months.

06. Post-Decision

Once a decision has been made and published, there is a six-week period in which the decision may be challenged via a Judicial Review.

We plan to submit applications for development consent for both DBS projects in 2024. You can view all the relevant planning documentation on the dedicated page on the National Infrastructure Planning portal here.

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