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Under the Planning Act 2008, a Development Consent Order (DCO) must be approved by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for nationally significant infrastructure projects, (which includes overhead power lines of 132,000 volts and above).

  • We will submit our application to the Planning Inspectorate. On behalf of the Secretary of State, they have 28 days to decide if, amongst other matters, consultation has been adequate and whether or not the application should be accepted for formal examination.
  • If accepted we will advertise the application and tell you how to register your interest with the Planning Inspectorate.  Registering your interest will allow you tell us what you think at the appropriate time and ensure you are kept informed about the application.
  • A preliminary meeting will explain the timetable for the six month formal examination period that will follow.
  • During the examination the Planning Inspectorate (also known as the ‘Examining Authority’) will ask people who have registered an interest what they think, and may invite them to speak at any public hearings that are arranged.
  • After the examination period has ended the Examining Authority has three months to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State regarding whether or not to grant permission for the new connection.
  • The Secretary of State will then have a further three months to make a decision on the application.

You can visit the Planning Inspectorate’s website for more details of its role in infrastructure planning.

Applications to the Planning Inspectorate must agree with National Policy Statements (NPSs), drafted by the government, which cover different areas including transport and energy. Six NPSs have been produced for the energy sector, including electricity networks and nuclear power. You can find these energy NPSs on the Department for Energy and Climate Change website.