Advice notes

The Planning Inspectorate has published a series of advice notes that are intended to inform applicants, consultees, the public and others about a range of process matters in relation to the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008). We also publish good practice advice notes and other guidance relating to planning appeals and other casework under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and related legislation. Each item of advice and guidance sets out the general type of casework and/ or the legislation that is applicable to it, and should be read and applied in that way.

Advice notes which deal with the PA2008 process are non-statutory. They are published to provide advice and information on a range of issues arising throughout the whole life of the application process. Although in many cases they include recommendations from the Planning Inspectorate about the approach to particular matters of process, which applicants and others are encouraged to consider carefully, it is not a requirement for applicants or others to have regard to the content of advice notes.

A change register has now been published at the foot of this page to help those who regularly refer to our advice notes keep track of any changes, including when new advice notes are published.

LIR advice note thumbnailAdvice Note One: Local Impact Reports (PDF 307 KB) Republished April 2012 (version 2)
Advice Note One is about the production of Local Impact Reports. It is intended to assist local authorities with the form and content of these reports.
Advice Note 2Advice Note Two: The role of local authorities in the development consent process (PDF 3.8 MB) Published February 2015 (version 1)
Advice Note Two seeks to provide advice about the important role of local authorities at different stages of the Planning Act 2008 process. It sets out practical ways in which local authority officers and members can participate in the process and manage resources effectively.
scoping opinion thumbnailAdvice Note Three: EIA consultation and notification (PDF 4.8 MB) Republished August 2017 (version 7)
The purpose of this advice note is to explain the approach taken by the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State, when identifying consultation bodies to be notified under Regulation 11 of The Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (the ‘EIA Regulations’) and where relevant, consulted on the scope of the Environmental Statement under Regulation 10 of the EIA Regulations. This advice note also identifies non-prescribed consultation bodies that the Planning Inspectorate may consult on a discretionary basis. Please note, this advice note refers to annexes in a separate document (PDF 226 KB).
section 52 thumbnailAdvice Note Four: Section 52 (PDF 7.6MB) Republished March 2017 (version 6)
Advice Note Four sets out advice on how to apply to the Planning Inspectorate to authorise an applicant to serve a written notice which requires the recipient to provide information to an applicant about interests in land. Please note, this advice note refers to annexes in a separate document (DOC 119 KB).
section 53 thumbnailAdvice Note Five: Section 53 – Rights of entry (PDF 2.8 MB) Republished March 2017 (version 6)
This advice note sets out advice on how to apply to the Planning Inspectorate for an authorisation for a right of entry to gain access onto land in order to carry out surveys and take levels under s53 of the Planning Act 2008. Please note, this advice note refers to annexes in a separate document (DOC 132 KB).
Advice note 6 thumbnailAdvice Note Six: Preparation and submission of application documents (PDF 563 KB) Republished February 2016 (version 7)
This advice note will assist applicants in preparing, organising and submitting applications to the Planning Inspectorate. Please note, this advice note refers to Appendix 2 – Electronic Application Index (XLS 687 KB), Appendix 3 – Section 55 Acceptance of Applications Checklist (PDF 301 KB) and Annex 1 – Preparing the technical index to accompany an NSIP application (PDF 223 KB)
Advice note seven thumbnailAdvice Note Seven: Environmental Impact Assessment: Preliminary Environmental Information, Screening and Scoping (PDF 6.3MB) Republished December 2017 (version 6)
The purpose of this advice note is to provide advice on elements of the EIA process during the Pre-application stage, namely screening and scoping and to assist applicants in understanding the role of preliminary environmental information. The purpose of this Annex (PDF 213kb) is to provide useful advice to support applicants with the preparation of their Environmental Statement.
Advice note 8 thumbnailAdvice Note Eight: Overview of the nationally significant infrastructure planning process for members of the public and others (PDF 2.2 MB) Published December 2016
Advice Note Eight has been produced in five sections and aims to take you step by step through the planning process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects:
Advice Note 8.1: Responding to the developer’s pre-application consultation (PDF 2.1 MB) (version 2)
Advice Note 8.2: How to register to participate in an Examination (PDF 1.4 MB) (version 2)
Advice Note 8.3: Influencing how an application is Examined: the Preliminary Meeting (PDF 2 MB) (version 4)
Advice Note 8.4: The Examination (PDF 1.4 MB) (version 4)
Advice Note 8.5: The Examination: hearings and site inspections (PDF 2 MB) (version 4)

Advice note nine thumbnailAdvice Note Nine: Rochdale Envelope (PDF 2 MB) Republished July 2018 (version 3)
This advice note addresses the use of the ‘Rochdale Envelope’ approach under the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008). A number of applicants have sought advice on the degree of flexibility that would be considered appropriate with regards to an application for a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project under the PA2008 regime.

Advice note ten thumbnailAdvice Note Ten: Habitat Regulations Assessment relevant to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (PDF 1 MB) Republished November 2017 (version 8)
This advice note provides advice for applicants in relation to the preparation of a HRA Report. Along with some minor updates in response to industry developments in the topic area, version 8 reflects some clarifications that have been made regarding how the assessment matrices should be prepared by applicants and how these matrices will be used to inform the decision-making process. The template matrices are provided in Appendix 1 and Appendix 2.

Advice note eleven thumbnailAdvice Note Eleven: Working with public bodies in the infrastructure planning process (PDF 264 KB) Republished November 2017 (version 4)
This advice note explains the framework which governs the involvement of relevant consultees and consenting bodies at each stage in the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008) process and sets out the key principles which the Planning Inspectorate hopes will underpin working arrangements. This advice note does not deal with the role of local authorities in the PA2008 process. This advice note should be read in conjunction with the supporting annexes found below: Annex A – Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru/Natural Resources Wales (PDF 73 KB) Annex B – Marine Management Organisation (PDF 151 KB) Annex C – Natural England (PDF 170 KB) Annex D – Environment Agency (PDF 133 KB) Annex E – Historic England (PDF 88 KB) Annex F – Nuclear Regulators (PDF 116 KB) Annex G – The Health and Safety Executive (PDF 185 KB)

Advice note twelve thumbnailAdvice Note Twelve: Transboundary Impacts and Process (PDF 3.2 MB) Republished March 2018 (version 5)
This advice note explains the roles and responsibilities of the Secretary of State, the Planning Inspectorate, European Economic Area Member States and applicant applicable under Regulation 32 of The Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017. The advice note includes Annex 1 – the Inspectorate’s long form transboundary screening proforma and Annex 2 – the Inspectorate’s short form transboundary screening proforma.
Advice note thirteen thumbnailAdvice Note Thirteen: Preparation of a draft Development Consent Order and Explanatory Memorandum (PDF 515 KB) Republished April 2012 (version 2)
This advice note has been prepared to provide some assistance to applicants when preparing their draft Development Consent Order and Explanatory Memorandum.
Advice note fourteen thumbnailAdvice Note Fourteen: Compiling the Consultation Report (PDF 493 KB) Republished April 2012 (version 2)
This advice note is aimed primarily at applicants and local authorities, however, it is also relevant to any consultee who may be interested to know how an applicant’s Pre-application consultation is reported. It seeks to provide advice about the format and content of the Consultation Report. Please note, this advice note refers to an annex in a separate document (DOC 413 KB).
Advice note fifteen thumbnailAdvice Note Fifteen: Drafting Development Consent Orders (PDF 2.22 MB) Republished July 2018 (version 2)
This advice note sets out advice from the Planning Inspectorate on the preparation of the draft Development Consent Order (DCO). It also reflects the views, on DCO drafting matters, of those government departments that are most involved in the consenting of DCOs.
Advice note sixteen thumbnailAdvice Note Sixteen: How to request a change which may be material (PDF 1.32 MB) Published March 2018 (version 2)
The purpose of this advice note is to provide information to applicants about how to request a material change to an application after it has been accepted and before the close of the Examination.
Advice note seventeen thumbnailAdvice Note Seventeen: Cumulative effects assessment (PDF 3 MB) Published December 2015 (version 1)
This advice note sets out a staged approach to cumulative effects assessment (CEA) for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and provides template formats for documenting the CEA within an applicant’s Environmental Statement. Please note, this advice note refers to Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 as separate documents.
Advice note eighteen thumbnailAdvice Note Eighteen: The Water Framework Directive (PDF 7 MB)  Published June 2017 (version 1)
This advice note explains the roles of applicants, the appropriate agencies and the Secretary of State in meeting the requirements of The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive) (England and Wales) Regulations 2017, as applicable to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects under the Planning Act 2008. The advice note also introduces and explains the use of Water Framework Directive overview matrices [see Appendix 1] prepared by the Planning Inspectorate.

Frequently asked questions

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Advice note change register

This change register was introduced on 1 May 2012 and lists any changes made to existing advice notes and notes the publication of any new advice notes.

Date updatedAdvice noteVersionDetail of change
July 2018Advice Note 11 Annex DMinor amendments made to clarify the interaction and timings of the DCO process and the Environment Agency’s environmental permitting regime
July 2018Advice Note 152The advice note has been updated to reflect contemporary best practice in the preparation and maintenance of draft Development Consent Orders throughout the Planning Act 2008 process.
July 2018Advice Note 93The advice note has been updated following the introduction of The Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 which came into force on 16th May 2017. It also addresses points relating to the implementation of the Rochdale envelope for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.
March 2018Advice Note 125The advice note has been updated following the introduction of The Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 which came into force on 16th May 2017. It also reflects updated arrangements for the consideration of transboundary effects in respect of nuclear NSIPs. The Inspectorate has also developed long and short form proformas for the consideration of transboundary impacts reflecting that not all NSIPs pose the same risk of transboundary impacts.
March 2018Advice Note 162The advice note has been updated to reflect up to date practice in relation to requests to make a material change to an application.
March 2018Advice Note 11 Annex G 1This new Annex is a result of discussions with Health and Safety Executive (HSE), to help applicants understand HSEs role in infrastructure planning
December 20177 and Annex6 & 1The Advice Note has been updated to reflect requirements following the introduction of the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 which came into force on 16th May 2017.
December 2017108Updated to reflect legislative changes from the Infrastructure Planning Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2017, the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 and the Conservation of Offshore Marine Habitats and Species Regulations 2017
November 2017114changes to reflect the coming into force of the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.
August 20173 and Annex7Updated to reflect legislative change from the Infrastructure Planning Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations 2017 and to clarify the Planning Inspectorate’s approach to EIA notification and consultation.
June 201718NewNew advice note
March 201756Changes made to reflect the up to date practice in relation to s.53 authorisations, publication and other legislative change
March 201746Updated
December 20168, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4 & 8.5VariousUpdated
February 201667Update to confirm the need for applications to include information for the purposes of Habitats Regulations Assessment.
January 2016107Update to Advice Note to reflect DCLG Guidance on the pre-application process. Appendices 1 and 2 also updated.
December 201517 1Correction of Table 3, Tier 2 projects description, removing the word ‘not’ so that the text reads “projects on the Planning Inspectorate’s Programme of Projects where a scoping report has been submitted."
December 2015124This advice note has been revised in response to emerging best practice and to clarify the duties on the Secretary of State and the role of the European Economic Area Member States and the Planning Inspectorate in the process. It also explains the involvement of the applicant in the process.
December 2015171New advice note
November 2015Advice Note 11 Annex D2This annex has been revised to reflect current practice
October 2015Annex A advice note 112Update to reflect the formation of Natural Resources Wales, which resulted from the merger of the Countryside Council for Wales, Environmental Agency Wales and Forestry Commission Wales, with effect from April 2013.
October 2015Annex C advice note 112Revisions in the light of emerging practice.
July 2015161The developer’s pre-application consultation, publicity and notification duties (version 1 April 2012) was retired. This was prompted by the publication of, Planning Act 2008: guidance on the pre application process (DCLG March 2015) which updated the requirements and procedures that developers should follow during the pre-application stage. Advice Note 16 – How to request a change which may be material (version 1 July 2015) replaces the previous version of Advice Note 16.
June 201536This advice note has been revised in response to emerging best practice.
June 2015106Minor updates were made to information in the advice note in response to some industry developments, and clarifications were also made throughout the text in particular in relation to how applicants should prepare their information during the pre-application stage. Formatting changes were also applied.
April 2015Annex E advice note 112Update to reflect the division of English Heritage into two bodies, English Heritage and Historic England, with Historic England taking the role of statutory advisor, with effect from April 2015.
April 201555This advice note has been revised in response to emerging best practice
April 201545This advice note has been revised in response to emerging best practice
March 201575This advice note includes minor revisions made in response to emerging best practice on projects.
February 201521Advice Note 2 - Working together on NSIPs (version 2 April 2012) was retired and replaced with a new Advice Note 2 - The role of local authorities in the development consent process” (version 1 February 2015).
October 2014151Digest of DCOs made up to summer 2014
October 201466Changes to reflect the
provisions of the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 and improvements to the
Planning Inspectorate’s service informed by the ‘2014 review’ of nationally significant
infrastructure planning.
August 2013105This advice note has been republished in response to emerging best practice on projects.
October 20134This advice note has been republished in response to emerging best practice on projects.
54This advice note has been republished in response to emerging best practice on projects.
25/07/201374This advice note has been republished in response to emerging best practice on projects.
25/07/20133 and appendix5This advice note has been republished to reflect amendments made to the Infrastructure Planning (Application: Prescribed Forms and Procedures) Regulations 2009 by the Infrastructure Planning (Prescribed Consultees and Interested Parties) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 and the Natural Resources Body for Wales (Functions) Order 2013.
04/04/20136 (annex: Preparing the technical index to accompany an NSIP application)2Update to annex to reflect the limit of file size that can be sent by email.
25/01/201310 (appendices 1 and 2)4Minor changes to wording in appendices for added clarity.
16/11/201211 (Annex E)1New annex added
25/10/201210 and appendices3Advice note 10 has been substantially revised to provide practical guidance on how to submit Habitats Regulations Assessment information with an application and how the Planning Act 2008 process, as amended by the Localism Act 2011, will address HRA.

A set of matrices has been introduced to be submitted with a Development Consent Order application. These new matrices will form an integral part of the information submitted with the application. This advice note explains how the matrices should be prepared by the applicant and how these matrices will be used to inform the decision making process.
08/06/201265Formatting changes, hyperlink on page 1 updated, typo corrected in appendix 1
28/05/20122, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5In order listed in previous column: 2, 3, 3, 4, 3, 3Welsh versions added.
22/05/20126 (Appendix 2)5The revisions to the Checklist reflect the changes to s55 of the Planning Act 2008 brought about by the Localism Act 2011. The order of the checklist has been revised to reflect the order in which s.55 (as amended) is presented.
09/05/201234Formatting changes were applied to version 3 of Advice Note 3. One text change was also applied, the reference to the Welsh Language Board as a non-prescribed consultation body was removed following the abolition of this organisation on 1 April 2012. It was replaced as a non-prescribed consultation body by the Welsh Language Commissioner which now delivers this function.