Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs)

About NSIP

A Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) is a large-scale project that falls into one of the following categories: 

  • energy
  • waste
  • transport
  • waste water
  • water

These can be projects such as new roads, railway lines, power generating stations and harbours.

NSIPs require a Development Consent Order. This is how ‘planning permission’ is granted for projects of this scale. The process for determining them is different from the usual planning application process.

NSIP applications are dealt with by the National Infrastructure Planning Team at the Planning Inspectorate, who make a recommendation on whether the consent order should be issued. The Secretary of State responsible for the relevant area of government (for example Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Energy for an energy project) makes the final decision.

The process for a NSIP involves six stages:

  1. Pre-application
  2. Acceptance
  3. Pre-examination
  4. Examination
  5. Recommendation and Decision
  6. Post-Decision

It is likely to take around 16 months for a decision to be made.

County Council’s Role in a NSIP

The County Council is deemed a ‘host authority’ because it is an upper tier authority. It would therefore be invited to be involved in the process for all NSIP projects.

Where the project involves waste, the County Council is likely to be responsible for discharging any planning obligations relating to the development. It is therefore important that it engages in its capacity as Waste Planning Authority. With other types of development, it is likely that the County Council will be statutory consultee to the process in its role as Local Highway Authority.

The County Council does not make the decisions. It is a consultee in the process, and can only make recommendations. These should be taken into consideration in the decision-making process.

NSIPs in Hampshire

Hampshire Water Transfer and Water Recycling Project - At pre-application stage

Southern Water is proposing to construct a new water recycling plant on Harts Way in Havant, which will recycle water from the Budds Farm Wastewater Treatment Works and be able to transfer it via new underground pipelines to and from the new Havant Thicket reservoir. The new water recycling plant will also transfer water through Hampshire to the existing Otterbourne Water Supply Works (WSW), again via new pipelines. The project will also feature four new above ground plants along the route to re-pressure the water in the pipes and allow it to flow to Otterbourne WSW. This scheme is looking to boost Hampshire’s drought resilience, ensuring water supplies to Hampshire’s residents.

HWTWRP project details

Applicant's website – HWTWRP

County Council Comments:

EIA Scoping Opinion – Hampshire County Council Response 17 August 2023

Southampton to London Pipeline - Approved

Esso is looking to replace 90km (56 miles) of its existing 105km (65 miles) aviation fuel pipeline. This runs from Fawley Refinery in the New Forest to the West London Terminal storage facility in Hounslow.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy granted development consent for the project on 7 October 2020.

Southampton to London Pipeline project details

Applicant's website - Southampton to London Pipeline

AQUIND Interconnector - At Examination

AQUIND Ltd is proposing to construct and operate an electricity interconnector between France and the UK. This would include a new High Voltage Direct Current cable landing at Eastney Portsmouth, and a new converter station in Lovedean, Waterlooville.

AQUIND Interconnector project details

Applicant's website - AQUIND

County Council Comments:

Aquind Interconnector PIER Consultation Response 29 April 2019

Wheelabrator Harewood Waste-to-Energy Facility - Withdrawn

Wheelabrator Harewood was proposing a new Waste to Energy Facility adjacent to the A303 Enviropark, north of Barton Stacey in Test Valley Borough. However, the applicant has confirmed that the application will not be made and Wheelabrator is now exploring options outside of Hampshire.

County Council Comments:

Wheelabrator Harewood EIA Scoping Opinion Consultation Response 22 March 2019

Wheelabrator Harewood Statutory Consultation Response 10 December 2019

M3 Junction 9 - Consented

Highways England is proposing to improve the junction of the M3 with the A34 (Junction 9 at Winnall, Winchester). This should increase capacity, enhance journey time reliability and enable the development proposed within Local Plans.

M3 Junction 9 Improvement project details

Applicant's website - Highways England

County Council Comments:

M3 J9 EIA Scoping Consultation Environment Response - 22 Feb 2019

M3 Junction 9 Improvements Statutory Consultation Response – 27 August 2019