The Infrastructure Planning (Electricity Storage Facilities) Order 2020
Jurisdiction: England, Wales
Commencement: 2nd December 2020
Amends: The Planning Act 2008
The Planning Act 2008 intends to speed up the process for approving major new infrastructure projects such as airports, roads, harbours, energy facilities such as nuclear power and waste facilities. Parts 1 to 8 of the Act creates a new system of development consent for nationally significant infrastructure projects. The new system covers certain types of energy, transport, water, waste water and waste projects. The number of applications and permits required for such projects is being reduced, compared with the position under current legislation.
The 2008 Act sets out criteria for when infrastructure projects need to seek planning consent from the Secretary of State under the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP) regime, as opposed to consent from the Local Planning Authority.
To support the move to net zero emissions by 2050, these Regulations remove electricity storage facilities*, except for pumped hydroelectric storage facilities, from the requirement to obtain planning consent in accordance with the NSIP regime under the 2008 Act. Instead, planning consent for these types of development is to be obtained from the relevant Local Planning Authority under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This will make it a simpler process for larger scale storage facilities to get planning permission.
*An ‘electricity storage facility’ is a type of energy storage power station that uses batteries to store generated electrical energy.
The NSIP regime is partly in place for projects where the benefits of infrastructure are national whilst the impacts are more local in nature. The exemption from the NSIP regime does not apply to pumped hydroelectric storage facilities due to the larger planning impacts of this technology.
Provisions are put in place by Article 5 for existing submitted and accepted applications to develop generating stations which contain an exempt electricity storage facility before this Order comes into force on 2nd December 2020. For these applications, the process continues as set out in the 2008 Act.
Article 6 puts provisions in place for development consent orders given for generating stations which contain an exempt electricity storage facility. The requirements of these development consent orders continue to apply and follow the process set out in the 2008 Act.
Provisions relating to applications to develop generating stations which contain an electricity storage facility that have been refused by the Secretary of State before this Order comes into force are set out in Article 7. The ability to challenge this refusal as set out in the 2008 Act continues to apply.
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