National Networks National Policy Statement issued by the Government 17 December 2014

The Department of Transport laid before Parliament on 17 December its “National Networks National Policy Statement” (NPS). This documents sets out the need for and the Government’s policies to deliver development of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP’s) in England relating to:

  •  National Road Networks
  •  Rail Networks
  •  Strategic Rail Freight Infrastructure developments

as defined in the Planning Act 2008.

The NPS provides planning guidance for promoters of nationally significant infrastructure projects and the basis for the examination by an Examining Authority and decisions by the Secretary of State.

The Secretary of State will use the NPS as the primary basis for making decisions on development consent applications for national networks nationally significant infrastructure projects in England. The NPS may also be a material consideration in decision making on applications that fall under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 or any successor legislation.

National networks nationally significant infrastructure projects in England need to be in accordance with the NPS unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that to do would:

  • lead to the UK being in breach of its international obligations
  • be unlawful
  • lead to the Secretary of State being in breach of any duty imposed by or under any legislation
  • result in adverse impacts of the development outweighing its benefits
  • be contrary to legislation about how the decisions are taken

The NPS identifies the need for National Networks - National Road, Rail and Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges – gives details of the principles of how developments are to be assessed – for example, through Environmental Impact Assessments, Habitat Regulations Assessments; Assessment of alternative sites/routes and provides guidance on generic environmental impacts and sought measures to mitigate identified impacts.

To review the full document please click here.

For further information and advice in relation to this document please contact your normal CgMs of RPS contact, or alternatively contact

Erica Mortimer

David Cowan

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