News: 25 October 201810 Years of the Planning Act

Ten years on from the introduction of the Planning Act 2008, and the Development Consent Order (DCO) regime, we, alongside Copper and Womble Bond Dickinson are launching a study to capture what we have learnt, assess how fit for purpose the existing system is, and explore how it can evolve to meet the fast-changing needs of UK PLC.

Our study aims to:

  • Challenge the infrastructure and development industry to evolve the process in a way that ensures it is as efficient and reliable as it can be

  • Interrogate the overarching framework in place associated with strategic and local development to ensure the policy and systems in place can adequately respond to the rapidly evolving needs of the country

  • Explore what opportunities exist within the principles of the NSIP regime to support and streamline the delivery of large-scale, mixed use settlements

  • Understand what project risks exist as a result of misunderstanding and misinformation about the planning system among stakeholders and the public, and identify ways in which these risks can be reduced

  • Channel and amalgamate the lessons the industry has learnt to draw conclusions and recommendations concerning next steps for the Act.

The UK currently faces a number of significant infrastructure challenges. These include the needs of the country going forward in energy and transport terms, together with an exceptionally urgent requirement for new settlements in response to the growing housing crisis, over the next 20 to 25 years. This is in the context of the Industrial Strategy, the Government’s garden city agenda, and the National Infrastructure Commission producing the UK’s first National Infrastructure Assessment, and against the backdrop of Brexit. 


As we enter a new era of fast-paced social, political and technological change; the challenges posed by such fast evolution can also present a real opportunity, but only if there is sufficient certainty and clarity across the planning system to respond to it. We therefore very much welcome your contribution to the first stage of our research programme – whether you are actively delivering projects within the DCO regime, have had experience of it, or have little experience of the DCO regime but are interested in the delivery of large scale development and the best mechanisms for their consent and delivery. Click on the relevant link below.

Click here if your organisation has engaged with the DCO regime established by the Planning Act 2008.

Click here if your organisation has not engaged with the DCO regime established by the Planning Act 2008.

After the survey we will be holding a series of interviews and workshops to inform our key recommendations on how the DCO regime could be enhanced and developed to support the future needs of UK PLC. 

Here, Associate, Tom Carpen shares his thoughts on 10 Years of National Infrastructure Planning.



For further information on how your data will be handled and responses used please click here. By completing this survey, you are providing your consent for our project team to utilise your responses in this research. No attributed responses will be reported directly, without prior permission being sought.


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