Press release

30th Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project examined and given development consent

The 30th application for a nationally significant infrastructure project has been given development consent following examination by The Planning Inspectorate.


The Hornsea offshore wind farm (Zone 4) – project one application was submitted for consideration on 30 July 2013 and accepted for examination on 22 August 2013. It is the 30th project to be decided under the Planning Act 2008 regime and is the 11th wind farm application examined by the Planning Inspectorate to gain development consent.

The decision announced today supports the recommendation made by the Planning Inspectorate and follows an examination process which met or exceeded all the statutory timescales laid down in The Planning Act 2008 (as amended by The Localism Act 2011).

Since the introduction of the Planning Act 2008, The Planning Inspectorate has added 105 proposed NSIP proposals to its national infrastructure website. Thirty applications have been examined by The Planning Inspectorate and a recommendation made to the relevant Secretary of State. In every case the Inspectorate has met the statutory targets laid down in the Planning Act 2008.

During the course of examining the proposals:

  • Almost 6,000 written representations were submitted by interested parties and each one was considered by the Examining Authority.
  • Nearly 16,000 documents and plans were and published.
  • 59 Examining Inspectors were involved in the examinations.
  • Applications have taken an average of 513 days from the time submitted to consent being given.

The Planning Inspectorate’s Chief Executive, Simon Ridley, said: “These facts and figures clearly demonstrate that the planning regime for nationally significant infrastructure projects is working well.”

“The certainty of knowing when a decision will be made following full consideration of public views provides developers and investors with the confidence needed to plan the infrastructure improvements this country needs to secure its future economic growth.”


Journalists wanting further information should contact the Planning Inspectorate Press Office, on: 0303 444 5004 or 0303 444 5005 or email:

Notes to editors:

Link to infographic

  • From April 2012, the relevant Secretary of State became the decision maker on all national infrastructure applications for development consent. At the end of the examination of an application, which will still be completed within a maximum of six months, the Planning Inspectorate will have three months to make a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State who will then have a further three months to reach their decision.

  • The Planning Inspectorate, National Infrastructure Programme of Projects details the proposals which are anticipated to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate as applications in the coming months.

Published 10 December 2014