In September 2012, the government announced a commitment to extend the ‘one stop shop’ approach for non-planning consents associated with Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects dealt with under the Planning Act 2008.
To deliver this commitment, the Consents Service Unit (CSU), based in the Planning Inspectorate, became operational in April 2013.
What the CSU does
The purpose of the CSU is to deliver a more efficient and effective non-planning consents process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects in England (including off-shore projects within English waters).
The CSU offers a bespoke service to applicants. It provides a dedicated contact to work with applicants and the relevant consenting bodies, to co-ordinate a logical and systematic approach to the handling of a range of non-planning consents which are required in addition to the Development Consent Order (DCO) under the Planning Act 2008.
Government guidance highlights the presumption in favour of including, where possible, non-planning consents within the scope of a DCO. The CSU will encourage this to happen as much as possible, however, its focus is on consents which remain, for whatever reason, outside the DCO.
The CSU will not make decisions on issuing non-planning consents; the relevant technical expertise and resources will remain within the consenting bodies.
The prospectus (republished July 2015) sets out the CSU’s purpose, its roles and responsibilities and how it operates.
See our frequently asked questions document for additional information about the service.
Consents Service Unit
The Planning Inspectorate
Temple Quay House
Bristol BS1 6PN
Main enquiries line: 0303 444 5000