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The new infrastructure planning commission

The New Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) has been established under the Planning Act 2008 to grant development consent for schemes deemed as: nationally significant infrastructure projects NSIPs.

The IPC will enable decisions to be made about NSIPs fairer and faster. This is vital to the:

Previous to the IPC it could take an indefinite amount of time to reach decisions on planning applications for NSIPs; hence once the application gets to a decision stage the demand and/or importance of the proposed scheme may have changed and the amendment of the application would then be required, increasing the timescale further.

Aims of the New Infrastructure Planning Commission

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects are large scale facilities that support the economy and vital public services. These include:

IPC Decision Making

The IPC has introduced a six step decision making plan. This consists of:

Pre Application

Before a planning application is received by the IPC the promoter must produce information about the proposed project. Wide consultation must take place with the people, business, sectors which will be affected by the proposals.

Acceptance by the IPC

A 28 day period is taken by the IPC to decide whether there has been effective consultation and if the proposal meets the required standards.


The IPC will hold preliminary meetings at this stage to assess a suitable timescale to progress with the application with regard to its importance and demand. Interested parties can register and be kept informed of developments as well to being involved in the process.


Public hearings will be held normally within a six month period with the IPC having six months to carry out an examination of the proposed scheme.


A decision on the proposal is issued within three months, with a statement of the reasons for acceptance/rejection of the proposal by the IPC.

Post Decision

Once the decision has been made there is a six week period for a legal challenge.

The Future of the New Infrastructure Planning Commission

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