The policy statement confirms that changes brought forward under the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 provided developers of the most significant business and commercial projects in England with the option of having their projects considered through that process. It adds that draft regulations have been published which prescribe the types of business and commercial projects that are capable of using the regime. They are construction projects in a range of fields that are potentially nationally significant, including offices, research and development, manufacturing, distribution, sport and tourism, and mining projects.
The statement adds that any developer who wishes their project to be dealt with under the 2008 Act will need first to ask the Secretary of State for a direction. The Secretary of State must be satisfied that the project both falls within one of the prescribed types of project and is nationally significant.
In considering whether a project is of national significance, the statement adds that the Secretary of State will consider all relevant matters, including:
- whether a project is likely to have a significant economic impact, or is important for driving growth in the economy;
- whether a project has an impact across an area wider than a single local authority area;
- whether a project is of a substantial physical size – further details are set out below; or
- whether a project is important to the delivery of a nationally significant infrastructure project or other significant development.
The statement confirms that although size in itself will not be the determining factor in whether a project is nationally significant or not, the Secretary of State would not normally expect to receive requests for directions in relation to projects that are not of a substantial size. For example, the Secretary of State would not normally expect to receive requests for construction projects where the gross internal floorspace to be created by the project is less than 40,000m2; for leisure, tourism and sports facilities where the area to be developed is less than 100 hectares; or for sports stadia where the seating capacity is less than 40,000 seats.
Date: 04/11/2013 Date of publication
DCP link: This item updates DCP section 26.4