Objecting to Development Consent Orders

A Development Consent Order (DCO) is a statutory instrument used to implement Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. The local authority which presides over the area where the project will be located has particular roles and responsibilities which it is required by law to complete. However, under the statutory consenting process, the local authority does have the opportunity to raise an ‘in-principle’ objection to a scheme whilst continuing to fully engage as a statutory consultee.

An expert planning lawyer can provide advice to a local authority on its response to a DCO to help ensure that its interests are protected as far as possible. Any response made by a local authority must be made with consideration to any relevant National Policy Statement and guidance in order to inform the extent to which it is able to object to a proposed project.

Unlike planning permission, a DCO can override the usual consent regimes that protect the public from nuisance that may result from a development.

Our planning team have advised both local authorities in responding to application for Development Consent Orders such as the NuGen Nuclear Power Station proposals at Sellafield, landowners whose land is affected by DCO proposals, and local amenity groups devising objection strategies.