Advice note on Drafting Development Consent Orders

This Planning Inspectorate advice note sets out advice on the preparation of a draft Development Consent Order.

The Planning Act 2008 (the PA 2008), and related secondary legislation, sets out the regime in relation to applications and proposed applications for orders granting development consent for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs).

The Planning Inspectorate carries out certain functions related to national infrastructure planning on behalf of the Secretary of State. Experience to date has shown that applicants and others welcome detailed advice on a number of aspects of the PA 2008 regime. This advice note forms part of a suite of such advice provided by the Planning Inspectorate. It has no statutory status.

A Development Consent Order (DCO) is a statutory instrument and should follow statutory drafting conventions. The DCO must be drafted in full by the applicant and submitted, together with other prescribed documents, with the NSIP application. It will not be drafted by the relevant Government Department. For these reasons, DCOs differ substantially from planning permissions under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 which are granted by local planning authorities.

As well as setting out advice on the preparation of the draft DCO the advice note also reflects the views, on DCO drafting matters, of those Government Departments that are most involved in the PA 2008 regime.

It is not intended to be a comprehensive advice note on all aspects of the drafting of such DCOs, but rather it focuses on a number of key issues where it is considered that advice could most usefully be given.

Whilst this advice note is aimed primarily at applicants, it should also be helpful for other persons involved in the PA 2008 regime.

This advice note is intended to be a "living document" so it will be kept under review and updated when necessary.

Further advice is set out in Planning Inspectorate Advice Note 13: Preparation of a draft order granting development consent and explanatory memorandum, which largely deals with non-drafting aspects of DCOs and the explanatory memorandum, including procedural matters.

Date: 31/10/2014 Date of publication

Author: Planning Inspectorate

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 7.1


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