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 3: Pre-examination stage of the DCO application

In this third episode of a series on the development consent regime, Rebecca Butterworth (Associate) and Julia McKeown (Associate (New Zealand)) discuss the pre-examination stage of the DCO application. This episode can be found on SoundCloud here.

In previous episodes, we discussed the pre-application stage of the development consent process, and the preparation, submission and acceptance of the DCO application. These episodes can be found here. Future episodes will cover: the examination stage (Episode 4); and DCO decisions, challenges to decisions and post-grant changes (Episode 5).

For further information please contact:

Julia McKeown

Julia McKeown
Associate (New Zealand), planning, London
+44 20 7466 2321

Rebecca Butterworth

Rebecca Butterworth
Associate, planning, London
+44 20 7466 2437

Charlotte Dyer

Charlotte Dyer
Of counsel, planning, London
+44 20 7466 2275