Our Development Consent Order

Seeking permission to build the scheme

This scheme is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP), which means it’s classed as a large, complex infrastructure project that benefits the entire country.

To build the scheme, we need to gain a special type of planning permission called a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Planning Inspectorate.

Developing new road schemes

Development Consent Order process

The Secretary of State for Transport granted the scheme its Development Consent Order on 18 August 2022.  

Following this decision there is a six-week period in which the decision may be challenged in the High Court. This process of legal challenge is known as Judicial Review.  

What happens next 

Over the next few months, we will be preparing ready for construction to start later in 2022.   

To keep you fully up to date on what we are doing, we are planning some online Q&A sessions and face-to-face public information events later this year. We’ll be visiting venues around the local area and will be out and about with our mobile visitor centre. These events will provide information about the improvements and allow us to answer any questions you may have. We will provide you with more details on our online and face-to-face events on this page going forward.   

To keep up to date with scheme keep checking our website or follow us on social media: 


Twitter @A428Cat 


Stages of an application for Development Consent

Pre-application stage

This is when we present the scheme to members of the public and stakeholders. We consulted on the scheme in 2019 and summer 2020. This feedback, along with ongoing engagement and design development, has been used to shape the scheme and prepare our DCO application.

This does not mean that our DCO application is approved, it is when the Planning Inspectorate decides whether we have submitted all the relevant documentation to allow the application to move forward.

This stage allowed anyone to register as an Interested Party. Interested Parties can submit a written representation or present their views at a public hearing. The Planning Inspectorate formally appointed a panel of inspectors to serve as the Examining Authority, and the first meeting will be held to discuss procedural issues and the timetable for examination, called the Preliminary Meeting.

This is a six-month process when the Examining Authority will examine the DCO application against the tests in the National Policy Statement for National Networks.

The Examining Authority will assess feedback from the public and stakeholders through written representations and the hearings. If you have registered as an Interested Party in the pre-examination phase, you can make a representation.

Following the end of the six-month examination stage, the Examining Authority will have three months to write a recommendation report and submit it to the Secretary of State for Transport.

The Secretary of State for Transport then has up to three months to make the final decision on whether to grant our DCO.

If the Secretary of State for Transport grants the DCO, this is the final stage of the process and provides a six-week window for anyone with legal grounds to challenge the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision through judicial review.

This is when scheme construction will start.


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