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How to challenge a development consent order

Pay attention to timing and procedure to avoid your claim failing before any consideration is even given to the substance, advises Jack Connah

22 September 2015

The Planning Act 2008 (PA) introduced a consenting regime ?for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs). NSIPs include a variety of typically larger projects, ?such as airports, generating stations, and, most recently, geological disposal facilities for radioactive waste. ?The PA also provided for legal challenges to be made to development consent orders (DCOs) for NSIPs. 

However, over five years have elapsed since the provisions in the PA came into force, and not one legal challenge to the granting of a DCO has yet been successful. This practice note sets out some procedural pointers on how to make sure any challenge gets off on the right foot.

Judicial review

Although the NSIP regime is specialised, section 118(1)(a) PC provides that any challenge to a DCO must be ‘brought by a claim for judicial review’ for a court to entertain the proceedings, so the usual judicial review grounds of claim apply to any chall...

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