The Development Consent Order (DCO) process

Riverside Energy Park will generate more than 50MW of electricity and is therefore considered a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

This means we needed to submit an application for development consent to the Secretary of State. You can find out more information about the planning process on the Planning Inspectorate's website at: infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk

Planning Inspectorate appointed an independent inspector to examine the application. The examination took place in public over a period of six months and involved written submissions and public hearings.

Following the end of examination, the inspector made a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State that development consent should be granted. The Secretary of State agreed with the inspector’s recommendation and granted the Development Consent Order on 9 April 2020. The planning process involved the following steps:

DCO Process
  • 1

    Pre-application

    • Consultation carried out with local communities and other interested parties to help shape proposals
    • Comments are considered and taken into account when developing application
  • 2

    Acceptance

    • After we submitted our application, the Planning Inspectorate had 28 days to review it
    • The Planning Inspectorate decided whether the application should be accepted for examination
  • 3

    Pre-examination

    • The Planning Inspectorate invited interested parties to make relevant representations
    • A preliminary meeting was organised and chaired by the examining authority
    • This process took three months
  • 4

    Examination

    • The Planning Inspectorate took six months to carry out the examination
    • Further feedback was sought from interested parties
    • Public hearings were held to discuss issues relating to the proposal
  • 5

    Recommendation and Decision

    • After the six month examination, the Planning Inspectorate had three months to prepare a report for the Secretary of State
    • The report included a recommendation to grant development consent
    • The Secretary of State then had three months to make a decision