Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects
In Wales, substantial energy and port projects are classified as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs).
A special regime was set up through the Planning Act 2008 to reach decisions on NSIPs. Schemes which constitute an NSIP need to be reviewed by an ‘Examining Authority’ (an Inspector or Panel), rather than by the Local Planning Authority for the area. Once a detailed proposal has been prepared and accepted into the system as a draft Development Consent Order (DCO), a decision is made within one year of the examination starting.
Applicants are required to consult NRW on any prospective Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) application within Wales, or likely to affect land in Wales. Furthermore, applicants are required to have regard to any consultation response from NRW.
Certain schemes may also require other consents/ licenses that are determined by NRW eg marine licences. More information on our role is set out in support of an Advice Note published by the Planning Inspectorate.
NRW is currently in the process of developing a discretionary pre-application service, which will provide developers with access to a free initial opinion on their development, as well as additional advice which will be available for a fee. NRW will start rolling out this service from April 2017 onwards.