UK: Planning Act Blog 179: Analysis of Original Consultation and Revised National Policy Statements

Last Updated: 25 October 2010
Article by Angus Walker

This is entry number 179, first published on 22 October 2010, of a blog on the implementation of the Planning Act 2008. Click here for a link to the whole blog. If you would like to be notified when the blog is updated, with links sent by email, click here.

Today's entry analyses the original consultation and revised National Policy Statements.

The government launched a second round of consultation on the six energy National Policy Statements (NPSs) this week. It has also published responses and information about the first round of consultation, which makes interersting reading.

Responses to previous consultation

Consultation on the original draft National Policy Statements took place between November 2009 and February 2010. There is a document reporting on the statistics for the original consultation, which can be found here.

The percentage of answers given on each NPS was not surprising:

  • EN-6 - nuclear power: 53%
  • EN-5 - electricity pylons: 16%
  • EN-1 - overarching energy: 13%
  • EN-3 - renewable energy: 8%
  • EN-2 - fossil fuels: 6%
  • EN-5 - gas and oil infrastructure: 4%

Within EN-6, consultees were asked whether they agreed that of eleven sites nominated as potential new nuclear power stations, ten were suitable and one (Dungeness) was not. The numbers of responses on each site were interesting: Kirksanton far outweighed all the others, while the other site that was dropped in this new consultation round (Braystones) did not get that many responses.

  • Kirksanton - 1083 - more against than in favour
  • Dungeness - 352 - mostly 'unclear' whether for or against (many letters were actually against the expansion of nearby Lydd Airport)
  • Oldbury - 206 - more against
  • Hinkley Point - 131 - more against
  • Bradwell - 100 - more against
  • Sellafield - 93 - more in favour
  • Braystones - 92 - more against
  • Wylfa - 83 - more in favour
  • Sizewell - 77 - more in favour
  • Heysham - 69 - more in favour
  • Hartlepool - 68 - more in favour

The report says that there were 130 responses from local authorities, but by my reckoning that must include parish and town councils, because only about 40 appear to have been from district, county and unitary authorities, about 10% of the total.

Government response to consultation

The government has issued two response documents - one for the response the the public consultation and one to the Parliamentary scrutiny of the NPSs.

The public response document can be found here. The government has gone into careful detail on the responses to the public consultation in its 300-page report. I have not read all the responses, but it appears to deal with everything that was raised.

I can't resist mentioning that I've found a couple of misprints - do I get a prize? At paragraph 1.101 it uses the word 'intension' and at paragraph 1.105 it refers to 'EN-)'. There's something a bit wrong with paragraph 6.12 as well.

I'm not sure that I agree with the statement at paragraph 1.32 that 'onshore' electricity generation includes installations in estuaries. The Planning Act defines 'offshore' as 'in waters in or adjacent to England and Wales ...'. Surely the Severn Estuary is 'water adjacent to England and Wales'. If the document was right, it would lower the threshold for projects in estuaries to come within the Planning Act regime from 100MW to 50MW.

Paragraph 1.121 says that water or rail transport should be used in preference to road in EN-1, but EN-2 has been changed to prefer water-borne transport (only) for fuel and residues. I'm not sure why - I expect the Rail Freight Group will have something to say about that.

The Parliamentary response document can be found here. The government has addressed each of the Commons select committee's thirty recommendations and has responded to what it considers were the main issues raised in the Grand Committee debates in the House of Lords, and also the five motions that were debated on the floor of the House albeit withdrawn following the debate.

The government resists calls to favour one electricity generation type over another, have a spatial element in EN-1 to EN-5 (i.e. saying where development should go) and also addi a requirement for the IPC to assess the carbon output of any proposed project. CO2 pipelines for carbon capture and storage are declared to be outside the scope of the relevant NPS (EN-4) (but still within the Planning Act regime - the difference being that the government will make decisions on applications rather than the IPC). A 'road map' for the implementation of CO2 pipelines will be consulted upon later this year and included in EN-4 at a later date.

The response to recommendation 17 says that the NPS has been revised so that on-site 'temporary' storage of nuclear waste is not stated to be for as long as 160 years (although if as it says the permanent storage facility is not ready until 2130 and the first new power station comes online in 2018, that would be 112 years of onsite storage). The report also states that the long-term geological storage project is likely itself to be a project that comes under the Planning Act.

The possibility of having joint (i.e. Commons and Lords) consideration of the revised NPSs is left open. This will be for Parliament to decide, although would require a change to standing orders.

The revised National Policy Statements

I have already set out the main changes made to the NPSs, their appraisals of sustainability and their Habitats Regulations assessments, using the government's handy summaries. Here are one or two additional points that aren't mentioned in the summaries.

The need for energy infrastructure is updgraded in EN-1 from 'significant' to 'urgent' (I think we are now at defcon 2).

The main reasons that Kirksanton and Braystones were dropped from the list of nuclear sites were that they were considered not to be capable of development before 2025, but perhaps more importantly the need for power stations there was not considered to be enough to outweigh the effect on the Lake District National Park of building them.

The NPSs look further forward than they did before - to 2050 - by when in order to 'decarbonise' energy, electricity generation will probably need to triple from current levels.

The NPSs have not actually changed that much - the main changes are to the Appraisals of Sustainability, where the way alternatives have been dealt with has been changed significantly. This issue was the main complaint of many environmental organisations, and the changes will go a long way towards addressing their concerns (although they still probably won't like the conclusions reached).

Going forward

The public consultation now runs until 24 January 2011. Chris Huhne MP has said that the 'relevant date' for Parliamentary scrutiny is 31 January 2011, a week later. However according to the standing orders of the House of Commons, the government must be provided with any reports of select committees 39 days before that date, which in this case is 22 December 2010. The Energy and Climate Change Select Committee thus has two months to consider the drafts and produce a report. At least it only need focus on the changes made to the NPSs (and presumably the refusal to change the matters it wanted to be changed).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Angus Walker
In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.