Development consent order
A Development Consent Order (DCO) is the means of obtaining permission for developments categorised as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). This includes energy, transport, water and waste projects.
Development Consent Orders are required for designated Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects rather than other consents such as planning permission, listed building consent and compulsory purchase orders.
Introduced by the Planning Act in 2008, Development Consent Orders were intended to simplify and speed up the process of obtaining panning permission for certain types of project, designated as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. Applications were originally decided by the Infrastructure Planning Commission, and independent body, however, when the Localism Act was introduced in 2011, this role was handed over to the Planning Inspectorate and the Secretary of State.
A long consultation process has been undertaken by the Department for Communities and Local Government about the nature of Development Consent Orders, and plans announced to extend the list of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects to include developments such as stadia, conference and exhibition centres, major office, warehousing, manufacturing, research and development facilities. Deep-mined coal is included, but the extraction of peat, oil, and gas are excluded as are retail and housing proposals.
In November 2013, a policy statement by the Department for Communities and Local Government suggested that:
“Although size in itself will not be the determining factor in whether a project is nationally significant or not, the Secretary of State would not normally expect to receive requests for directions in relation to projects that are not of a substantial size.
“For example, the Secretary of State would not normally expect to receive requests for construction projects where the gross internal floor space to be created by the project is less than 40,000 square meters; for leisure, tourism and sports facilities where the area to be developed is less than 100 hectares; or for sports stadia where the seating capacity is less than 40,000 seats.
“For minerals projects, the Secretary of State would not normally expect to receive requests for projects unless they involve the extraction of a strategically important industrial mineral, or extraction of a mineral on a significant scale, for example where the surface or underground area was over 150 hectares.”
On 28 October 2015, the government published a Nationally significant infrastructure projects and housing briefing note providing further information on the nationally significant infrastructure planning clause of the Housing and Planning Bill 2015. Clause 107 allows an element of housing to be consented when development consent is granted for a nationally significant infrastructure project.
On 16 December 2015, the Department for Communities and Local Government issued new guidance on the procedures for making a change to a Development Consent Order for nationally significant infrastructure projects, covering the 2 types of change that may be made to a Development Consent Order (non-material or material) and the procedures for making such changes.
In March 2017, the government published guidance confirming that will major infrastructure projects that include up to 500 homes will be considered to be Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Crossrail 2.
- Environmental Impact Assessment.
- Environmental Statement.
- Instrumentation operated in the national interest.
- Listed building consent.
- Localism Act.
- Major Projects Authority.
- National Infrastructure Plan.
- Permission for mining or working of minerals.
- Planning Act 2008.
- Planning permission.
- Safeguarding land.
- Wind farm.
 External references
Featured articles and news
Identifying sustainable shoreline protection solutions in the face of rising sea levels and storms in the US.
Budget documents state modern methods of construction will be favoured for public infrastructure schemes from 2019.
A walk-through exhibition of an emergency humanitarian shelter is officially opened at BRE's Innovation Park.
How to work safely on a construction site during winter.
Housing is the big winner in Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Budget.
The winner of our BSRIA competition, Tomorrow's challenges in today's buildings, is.... Bob Hendrikx. A big thank you to everyone that took part.
Committee of MPs accuses government of dealing billpayers a 'bad hand' over the guaranteed power price.
In 1992, the Joint Fire Code was first published. What influence does it still have on construction sites today?
"Companies will have to adapt or go out of business" - how are virtual reality and big data disrupting digital construction?
International Well Building Institute and BRE collaborate on multiple levels to advance human health through better buildings.
"The industry has tried moving away from prescriptivism to focus on performance, but maybe that’s no longer working".
Energy from waste and its key role in a low carbon economy.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes was guest speaker at the BSRIA Briefing - Tomorrow’s challenges in today’s buildings.