What’s next

We submitted our Development Consent Order in June 2022 and the application has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate. This page will tell you what the next steps are.

What’s next



On 21 June, we submitted our application to build the A66 Northern Trans-Pennine project. On 19 July, the Planning Inspectorate accepted our application meaning the Development Consent Order (DCO) can be examined further.  

Acceptance does not mean we will start construction. This can only start once the Secretary of State for Transport approves the application. You can find out more about the different stages below: 

Pre-examination stage 

At this stage, anyone can register with the Planning Inspectorate as an Interested Party by making a Relevant Representation. A Relevant Representation is a summary of a person’s views on an application, made in writing. 

The Planning Inspectorate will also formally appoint a panel of inspectors to serve as the Examining Authority, and a meeting will be held to discuss procedural issues and the timetable for examination, called the Preliminary Meeting. 


This can be a six-month process when the Examining Authority will examine the DCO application using written submissions and hearings. 

During this stage, Interested Parties will be invited to provide more details of their views in writing. The Examining Authority will give careful consideration to all the important and relevant matters raised.  

Recommendation and decision stage 

Following the end of the examination stage, the Examining Authority will 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 a development consent for the project. 

Post-decision stage 

Following the Secretary of State for Transport’s decision on whether to grant consent for the project, the final stage of the process is a six-week window for the decision to be challenged in the High Court. This process of legal challenge is known as judicial review. 

You can find out more on the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) website https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/north-west/a66-northern-trans-pennine-project/  

You can also find out more about the DCO process here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/application-process/the-process/ 

This short video gives more information about the process behind the DCO and how we build roads.


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