Press release

Palm Paper 3 Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) Power Station in Kings Lynn has been given development consent

The application for Palm Paper 3 Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) Power Station in Kings Lynn has been given development consent by the Department of Energy & Climate Change

50 Decisions

50th Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project given Development Consent

Palm Paper CCGT Power Station is the 50th Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) to be decided following examination by The Planning Inspectorate.

Applications for projects considered to be of national significance are made under the Planning Act 2008 (as amended). The Act was introduced to streamline the decision making process, making it fairer and faster for communities and developers alike and to encourage investment in the country’s vital infrastructure by providing certainty on decision timescales.

Prior to the introduction of the 2008 Act, it could take several years to decide major planning applications. Heathrow Terminal 5, for example, took almost eight years to gain planning and other consents.

The Planning Act 2008 requires developers to consult with affected communities and to thoroughly prepare applications before submitting them for examination. The Planning Inspectorate examines the application and makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State who makes the final decision. The regime imposes strict timescales on key stages of the process and it takes on average 14-15 months from the day an application is submitted to a decision being made. Overall the process increases confidence and provides the certainty of knowing when a decision will be made for developers, investors and all with an interest in the project.

Steve Quartermain, Chief Executive of The Planning Inspectorate, said:

“This is the 50th application for a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project to be decided following examination by The Planning Inspectorate – it is a significant milestone. Every application has met the statutory timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008 for examination by the Inspectorate.

“This is a tremendous achievement for our Inspectors and casework staff. The regime is a success as it has streamlined the decision making process for the major infrastructure that the country needs whilst ensuring proposals are properly and robustly examined and ensuring local people can have their say.”

Of the 50 projects examined by the Inspectorate, 31 were energy, 16 transport, two waste and one waste water developments. Details about current projects can be found on

NSIPs are not only significant in their importance to the country, but are large applications of particular interest to many local people.

The five projects that have attracted the most interest to date are:

  • Thames Tideway Tunnel; 2,534 documents examined and 1,246 interested parties registered to make representations
  • Navitus Bay Offshore Wind Park; 2,025 documents and 2,658 interested parties
  • Hinkley Point C Connection; 1611 documents
  • Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay; 1386 documents
  • Hinkley Point C New Nuclear Power Station; 1001 documents and 1197 interested parties

The Planning Inspectorate places great importance on being fair, open and impartial. No matter the type, size or location of a project, it ensures that local communities have the opportunity to make their views known and are able to participate in the examination process. The examination of the fifty projects has considered thousands of written representations and examiners have heard directly from hundreds of affected people at Hearings held in the locality of the projects.

Mark Southgate, Director for Major Applications and Plans at The Planning Inspectorate, said:

“We encourage people to get involved in the examination of major projects both when developers are consulting on their proposals before submitting an application and when we are examining their application. We listen carefully to what all interested people tell us about a project that affects them, and we give full consideration to their views when making a recommendation to the Secretary of State.”

Notes to editors:

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

The decision letter, Recommendation and Development Consent Order for Palm Paper 3 CCGT

Published 11 February 2016