The Planning White Paper published in August 2020 proposed a number of radical reforms aimed at streamlining and modernising the planning regime. One of those proposals was the potential for major housing developments to be brought into the development consent regime for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) (see here for our blog on this subject). This consent route, which results in the grant of a development consent order (DCO), has to date only been used for infrastructure projects such as large power stations, major roads, waste management facilities, etc. Many housing developers who are used to the town and country planning consent regime may not be familiar with the development consent process. However, if the White Paper proposals are taken forward, this route offers huge potential benefits that could see major housing development being brought forward more quickly and efficiently.

In this series of “Back to basics” podcasts (see here), we provide a bite-sized introduction to the development consent regime under the Planning Act 2008, drawing on our extensive experience advising on all key aspects of DCO projects. Each of the five episodes in this series focuses on a different stage in the development consent process, summarising the requirements for each stage, pitfalls to watch out for and the roles of the consultant and legal team, the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State.

Episode 1: Introduction to DCOs and the pre-application stage

In this first episode in the series, Charlotte Dyer (Of Counsel) and Alistair Paul (Associate) discuss the pre-application stage of the development consent process. This episode can be found on SoundCloud here.

Future episodes will cover: preparation, submission and acceptance of the DCO application (Episode 2); the pre-examination stage (Episode 3); the examination stage (Episode 4); and DCO decisions, challenges to decisions and post-grant changes (Episode 5).

For further information please contact:

Charlotte Dyer
Charlotte Dyer
Of counsel, planning, London
+44 20 7466 2275
Alistair Paul
Alistair Paul
Associate, planning, London
+44 20 7466 2252