Development Consent Order process - Next steps

Development Consent Order process - next steps

Our DCO application was accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate on 15 December 2022.

This means we’ve submitted all the information needed for our application to move forward into the pre-examination stage.

Watch our video to learn more about the DCO process:


The Development Consent Order process

Here we explain more about the Development Consent Order (DCO) process and how it works.

There are six stages to a DCO application.

Stage 1 - Pre-application stage (completed)

This is when we present the scheme to members of the public and stakeholders. We consulted on the scheme in 2021 and organised engagement events in September 2022. This feedback was used to shape the scheme and prepare our DCO application.

The Planning Inspectorate decides whether we have submitted all the relevant documentation to allow the application to move forward.

This stage allows anyone to register as an Interested Party. Interested Parties can submit a written representation or present their views at a public hearing. We’ll share more information about these on our website.

The Planning Inspectorate formally appoints a panel of inspectors to serve as the Examining Authority and will first organise a Preliminary Meeting to discuss procedural issues and the timetable for examination.

This six-month process is when the Examining Authority examine our 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. We’ll share more information about these on our website.

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 construction will start.