UK: Trains And Drains But No Planes In Infrastructure Surge

Last Updated: 9 April 2013
Article by Angus Walker

Today's entry is a round-up of developments on nationally significant infrastructure projects.

I was at the launch of an exhibition on infrastructure in London last night hosted by New London Architecture and entitled ' Planes, Drains and Trains'.  Recent developments on nationally significant infrastructure have been similar, with the notable exception of planes.  Here's a round up.

Mark Southgate, new Director of Major Applications and Plans, joked at a seminar last week that he had had a great start in his post, overseeing three decisions in his first nine days, where it had taken 18 months for the previous four decisions.  He was never going to keep that up, but there has been significant progress on other projects since then.

The decisions

On 12 March the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change granted consent for up to 28 wind turbines at Brechfa Forest West in Carmarthenshire being promoted by RWE Npower Renewables.  This breaks the 'curse of the dragon' where until then, no NSIP in Wales had managed to stay the course.

Just a week later, Ed Davey decided the largest project so far, the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset being promoted by EDF Energy.  That was one of the occasions when the iceberg of the Planning Act regime pokes above the surface into the national news.

On the very same day, the Secretary of State for Transport granted consent for the first highway project - the 4.8km Heysham to M6 Link Road in Lancashire promoted by Lancashire County Council.

The applications

At the other end of the timetable, five new applications have been made, three of which have been accepted with the other two pending.

The first two were actually re-applications, for the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal in Northamptonshire being promoted by the Rugby Radio Partnership and the Rampion wind farm off the Sussex coast being promoted by E.ON Climate and Renewables.  This time they were both accepted for examination.

The third has eclipsed Hinkley Point C in size and was accepted yesterday, for the Thames Tideway Tunnel in London being promoted by Thames Water.  This will update London's Victorian sewer system.  My favourite (well, only) London sewer system joke is that Sir Joseph Bazalgette was knighted for his work in pumping sewage out of people's homes, whereas his great-great-grandson Sir Peter, who introduced Big Brother to the UK, was knighted for the opposite.

The next step for all three of these applications will be the launch of the representation period, announced by notices in local and national newspapers and the ability to register on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Three or so weeks behind these, we have the Burbo Bank wind farm extension off the Merseyside coast being promoted by DONG Energy (Danish Oil and Natural Gas (in Danish), in case you were wondering).

Finally we have the North Killingholme power station on Humberside, which may become a coal-fired power station, being promoted by Belgian company C.Gen.

That last application brings the total number since records began to 30 (albeit for 28 projects, two of which had two applications).  We're only at the start of year 4 and we've nearly overtaken the IPC's prediction of 35 applications in the first year!

Other progress

The next batch of decisions will be in April and May, when the Preesall gas storage project in Lancashire, the Able Marine Energy Park on Humberside, and the Galloper wind farm off the Suffolk coast will be decided.

Behind them and in the same April/May period, inspectors are due to make recommendations on the East Northamptonshire waste facility, Triton Knoll windfarm off the Lincolnshire coast and the Blyth biomass station in Northumberland.

Just three applications are actually being examined at the moment: the M1 junction 10a improvement promoted by Luton Borough Council, the Redditch branch railway enhancement in Worcestershire and the King's Lynn power line in Norfolk.

Two more will start their examinations next month: the Stafford railway improvement project and the North London Reinforcement, another power line project.

And then we get to transport National Policy Statements

While there is no shortage of road, rail and rail freight terminal applications, the accompanying National Policy Statement (NPS) for roads is stuck in the slow lane. The latest position is that the DfT 'plans to prepare a National Policy Statement' once it has finished its work on 'carrying out a feasiblity study to review new ownership and financing models for the strategic road network'.

Finally, with no projects and no NPS, are airports.  The current position, as set out in the Airports Policy Framework published last Friday, is that the final report of the Airports Commission looking into hub capacity in the south east of the country is due out by the summer of 2015, and in it will be 'materials to support the government in preparing a National Policy Statement'. Later it says that the government is 'likely' to develop an NPS should it support any nationally significant airport infrastructure following the commission report,  and that it would contain principles for noise envelopes.

So these NPSs appear to be vying with each other to be the last, although the Water Supply NPS may yet have that honour, on which there is radio silence at present.

So the message is that infrastructure projects are moving forward apace, but policy is lagging behind.

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.