Whilst a decision on this issue is very welcome after years of procrastinating and uncertainty, Heathrow now begins the unenviable task of preparing its application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) for the runway against a backdrop of political and legal turmoil.
The Government previously confirmed that the runway selected would need to apply for a DCO under the Planning Act 2008.
Whilst the Government’s decision may well be challenged by one or more organisations, it is important for those individuals and organisations directly or indirectly impacted by today’s decision to participate fully in the subsequent DCO process and the Government’s National Policy Statement (NPS) on airports. This document will set out a clear policy framework for the third runway at Heathrow and provide reasons for that policy. These reasons must include how the Government’s policy on climate change has been taken into account, amongst other matters. The NPS will be a very important document- the decision whether to grant the DCO for the runway must be made in accordance with the NPS unless certain exceptions apply. The opportunity to comment and influence the NPS will arise next year when the Government proposes to publish the draft NPS for public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny.
In addition, Heathrow must publicise and consult upon the proposed runway DCO application and take the consultation responses into account before finalising and submitting its application to the Planning Inspectorate. Once the application is submitted, there will be a further opportunity to register and participate in the DCO application process.
Our team of 34 lawyers and other professionals are recognised as the leaders on the Planning Act 2008 regime and DCOs having promoted 11 successful applications so far and with many more in the early stages of the process, as well as acting for numerous objectors to DCO applications.
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Whether you are interested in learning more about the DCO process and how you can participate, how you can protect your property and assets and/or how you can raise objections to the third runway at Heathrow, we can provide you with guidance and advice.