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Government Publishes Guidance on DCO Applications for NSIPs Including Housing

The government has published guidance on the procedure for handling applications for development consent orders (DCOs) for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) which include housing.

Section 160 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA 2016) amends section 115 of the Planning Act 2008 to add “related housing development” to the types of development for which a DCO application can be made. Section 160 of the HPA 2016 comes into force on 6 April 2017 and will only apply to DCO applications made on or after 6 April 2017 (regulation 4(i) and regulation 7, Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Commencement No. 5, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Regulations 2017) (SI 2017/281)).
The guidance describes the application procedure (paragraphs 32–46). It also outlines considerations that developers, local planning authorities (LPAs) and other consultees will need to take into account at each stage of the process. These include:
• The amount of housing that can be consented through a DCO (paragraphs 16–21).
• Whether the NSIP proposal includes affordable housing (paragraph 23).
• The proximity of the housing to the proposed NSIP (paragraphs 24–26).
The guidance will be useful to NSIP developers, LPAs and statutory consultees as well as individuals or organisations with an interest in such projects.
The Secretary of State must take into account any matters set out in the guidance when deciding an application for a DCO that includes related housing development (section 115(7), Planning Act 2008).
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