UK: Three Infrastructure Regulations About To Change

Last Updated: 15 April 2013
Article by Angus Walker

Today's entry reports on changes to three sets of regulations under the Planning Act 2008 coming into force this Saturday.

The Planning Act regime includes a raft of secondary legislation that governs the detail of applying for development consent, examining applications and so on.

Following on from a consultation on 'expanding and improving the one stop shop' held from 26 November to 7 January, to which the government responded last month, the government has decided to introduce amending regulations in three areas:

  • 'clarifying' the fees charged for examinations
  • cutting down the statutory bodies that are consulted and notified about applications; and
  • reducing the consents that need the permission of the body that would have granted them before they can be included in a development consent order (DCO) instead.

Before going into details, I would make two points about these changes:

  • first, they emphasise the changing nature of the Planning Act regime, and the importance of using up to date materials, rather than the Act and regulations when they were originally drafted - in other words, don't try this at home, and
  • secondly, take care as to which applications the changes apply to. They apply to all applications where no formal steps have been taken by tomorrow at all, they don't apply to any applications already made, but it's quite complicated for the remainder, i.e. ones where some formal step has been taken short of making an application.

Fee changes

The fee changes are not really in response to the consultation but in response to representations made during the passage of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill that the basis on which applicants were being charged for examinations was incorrect.

The changes put the basis for charging beyond doubt, but still leave the issue open of applicants who have already been charged.

The new basis is that the daily rate will be charged for every working day between the start and end of the examination - and weekends, if work on the application was 'required' then. Any suspensions of the application while either a National Policy Statement is being reviewed or further environmental information has been demanded do not count, nor do any days that the Secretary of State decides not to charge due to sickness or some other cause. There is a rare lapse from what is now the norm of gender-neutral drafting in that last provision.

I just can't agree with the goverment that these changes do not make any practical difference (it used to say merely that the daily rate was charged when the inspector(s) was/were considering the application), and they are being pretty disingenuous in maintaining that position.

Consultation changes

The consultation changes remove, change and add to consultees. There is a huge list of statutory bodies that are:

  • consulted on draft national policy statements;
  • consulted before Planning Act applications are made;
  • notified of the acceptance of a Planning Act application;
  • invited to the preliminary meeting;
  • able to participate in application examinations even if they didn't make representations;
  • consulted about any extension to compulsory acquisition powers; and
  • consulted about any material changes to a DCO.

The following bodies are removed from the list in each case, although only the first four are removed in Wales. These are those that have either become defunct, never replied to consultation (you snooze, you lose) or asked to be removed from the list.

  • the relevant Regional Planning Body;
  • the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment;
  • the relevant Regional Development Agency;
  • the Commission for Sustainable Development;
  • the Equality and Human Rights Commission;
  • the Scottish Human Rights Commission;
  • the Homes and Communities Agency;
  • the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency;
  • the Passengers Council;
  • the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee;
  • the Office of Rail Regulation and approved operators;
  • the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority;
  • the Water Services Regulation Authority;
  • the Water Industry Commission of Scotland;
  • the relevant waste regulation authority; and
  • the relevant local resilience forum.

Some changes are made to reflect other legislative changes where presumably they forgot to change these references at the time.

  • Strategic Health Authorities become the NHS Commissioninng Board and relevant clinical commissioning group;
  • the Marine and Fisheries Agency becomes the Marine Management Organisation; and
  • the Health Protection Agency becomes Public Health England, but they only need to be consulted if the project is 'likely to affect significantly public health' - I can't see any project promoters agreeing to that being the case. If Public Health England are consulted, be afraid.

The relevant police authority has already changed to the relevant police and crime commissioner, whom one or two people elected last November.

In Wales, the relevant local health board and NHS Trusts are added; in England, the Secretary of State for Defence is added for safeguarded or marine land.

The transitional provisions are quite tricky, but as a rule of thumb if the Planning Inspectorate has been formally notified of a forthcoming application or a screening or scoping opinion has been sought for it, then you should stick to the old list.

Consent changes

The consent changes mean that a miscellaneous collection of consents can be included in DCOs without the consent of the orignally-consenting body (in England, but not in Wales), but these have been chosen because they are unlikely to be needed. I doubt any infrastructure projects will involve the import of fish eggs, for example. They only apply to applications not yet made. For completeness, the subject-matter of the consents is as follows:

  • approval of codes of practices by the Health and Safety Executive
  • authorisation of specified practices relating to ionising radiation
  • radiation hazard identification and risk evaluation
  • power to grant seal licences
  • byelaws for protection of nature reserves
  • exceptions for persons with deer licences
  • duties in relation to sites of special scientific interest
  • duty to keep definitive map and statement under continuous review
    byelaws relating to access land
  • land management; avoidance of risk of fire or damage; nature conservation and heritage conservation
  • introduction of fish into inland waters
  • power to limit the import etc of fish and fish eggs
  • consent where no water abstraction or impounding licence
  • disposal of polychlorinated biphenyls and other dangerous substances
    a pesticide control consent
  • hazardous waste registration

So only discontinued lines have been allowed into the one stop shop, and the process still remains something of a bazaar. These are all steps in the right direction, though.

The next changes will come about in a mere month's time once the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 hits the statute books.

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.