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

Southampton to London Pipeline

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.

Project details on the National Infrastructure Planning website

Applicant's website

AQUIND Interconnector

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.

Project details on the National Infrastructure Planning website

Applicant's website

County Council Comments:

Aquind Interconnector PIER Consultation Response 29 April 2019

Wheelabrator Harewood Waste-to-Energy Facility

Wheelabrator Harewood is proposing a new Waste to Energy Facility adjacent to the A303 Enviropark, north of Barton Stacey in Test Valley Borough. The facility will generate up to 65 Megawatts gross electrical output through the treatment of waste and waste-derived fuels from various sources.

Project details on the National Infrastructure Planning website

Applicant's website

County Council Comments:

Wheelabrator Harewood EIA Scoping Opinion Consultation Response 22 March 2019

M3 Junction 9

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.

Project details on the National Infrastructure Planning website

Applicant's website

County Council Comments:

M3 J9 EIA Scoping Consultation Environment Response - 22 Feb 2019