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Freeths - Law firm

Experienced Lawyers in Dealing With Infrastructure and Development Consent Order Applications

Our Experience

Robert Bruce, Partner and Julie Russell, Senior Associate are experienced practitioners on Development Consent Order (DCO) applications for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs).  Our experience includes:

  • Heathrow Third Runway DCO – Acting for Council
  • A303 Tunnelling of Stonehenge DCO – Acting for heritage body
  • Hinckley National Strategic Rail Freight Interchange DCO – Acting for Council
  • Oxford to Cambridge Expressway Proposed DCO – Acting for affected land owner
  • Esso Southampton – Heathrow Aviation Fuel Pipeline DCO – Acting for affected supermarket
  • Milford Haven Biomass Renewable Energy Plant Development of National Significance (DNS) (Welsh equivalent to NSIP) – Acted for promoter
  • Other Relevant Experience – Advised a range of clients on compulsory purchase, HS2, Crossrail, Thames Tideway Tunnel, East West Rail (Transport and Works Act Order), various large road schemes (eg Stafford Western Access Route and Gedling Access Road), other infrastructure proposals and compensation issues, including claims in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chambers).


Development Consent Orders

Significant input on DCO applications will be done at the pre-application and pre-submission stages and fundamental points on DCO applications should be raised as early as possible.

Significant areas where legal input will be required includes:

Pre-Application & Pre-Submission

  • Review all fundamental points and respond to consultations.
  • Review the draft DCO and the Statement of Common Ground.
  • Consider any proposed compulsory acquisition of your land.
  • Consider a Planning Performance Agreement (eg to recover costs).


  • Review Relevant Representations.
  • Attend the Preliminary Meeting.


  • Input into the Local Impact Report and Adequacy of Consultation report where relevant.
  • Submit Written Representations.
  • Respond to the Examining Authority’s questions and requests for further information.
  • Comment on the promoter’s and other parties’ submissions.
  • Comment on the draft DCO.
  • Prepare/comment on the draft Development Consent Obligation (akin to S106).
  • Representation at Examination hearings.
  • Finalise Statement of Common Ground.

Post Examination

  • Respond to consultations on the discharge of DCO requirements.
  • Monitoring and potential enforcement of requirements (akin to planning conditions).
  • Deal with any acquisitions of land.
  • Deal with any non-material amendments and material change applications.


Get in Touch

Freeths is well placed to advise on DCO applications for NSIPs and other large infrastructure projects authorised under other powers. We would be delighted to discuss the expertise of our team in this sector and how we can assist you in relation to infrastructure projects at a competitive rate.

Please do not hesitate to contact Robert Bruce in our Planning & Environment Group to discuss.

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the present time and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.

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Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?

Contact: 03301 001 014

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