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26 November 2018

813: The Planning Act 2008 is 10

Today’s entry reports on 10 years of the Planning Act 2008.

The Planning Act 2008 received royal assent on 26 November 2008, exactly 10 years ago today. Time to take stock!

  • Applications made: 107, including six that were made twice. The hundredth, if you include the double attempts, was the North Wales Connection. If you don’t include them, applications have been made for 101 projects and the 100th was the Cleve Hill solar park last week.
  • Development Consent Orders (DCOs) granted: 68
  • Live applications: 24 (the most for over three years)
  • Applications not accepted for examination or withdrawn during acceptance: 7
  • Applications withdrawn after acceptance: 4
  • Applications not granted development consent: 4

Getting accepted for examination has been more difficult than getting granted at the end, it would seem.

For your delectation here are links to all 68 DCOs in existence, in the order they were made:

Heysham to M6 and Silvertown get the prizes for the longest and shortest names, respectively.

68 is not nearly as many as one might have expected 10 years ago, but things are picking up. I have previously opined on whether the regime has worked – spoiler alert: it has delivered consents efficiently but not as many projects are being built at all or as quickly as might have been hoped.

As the regime has matured, the focus has rightly moved from achieving consents to delivering projects, and I do think this needs some work. The ability to change a DCO mid-stream and post-consent, and the scope for doing so, as well as the scope for deciding what can be left until later for approval and how that should be achieved, all need to be made clearer.

All in all, though, it’s been quite a time, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog for 9 1/2 of those 10 years.

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