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A member of our National Utilities and Infrastructure team has given pipeline professionals across the UK an expert insight into Development Consent Orders (DCOs) for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). Partner Mark Gilkes joined together with Claire Brodrick, senior associate at legal firm Pinsent Masons, to hold a virtual presentation for members of the of the Pipeline Industries Guild (PIG) hosted by Rachel Bridge, Chair of the Midlands Branch.

Mark and Claire not only spoke about the definitions of DCOs and NSIPs and what they apply to, but also the timelines, processes, challenges and the benefits. They also looked to the future and discussed the types of new projects pipeline professionals are likely to see in the coming years. A total of 93 delegates signed up for the online technical event, including pipeline engineers as well as other professionals in the field.

Mark said: “Fisher German has an extensive amount of experience in obtaining DCOs for NSIPs. Under the Planning Act 2008 a developer intending to construct an NSIP must obtain a DCO. The Planning Inspectorate reviews and examines the applications, before it is granted by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. We have a range of experts who focus on the on the land aspects of the DCO process, including identifying land ownership, conducting formal consultations, facilitating survey access, negotiating with landowners and advising on compulsory purchase matters.

I was very pleased to deliver a presentation on this topic with Claire from Pinsent Masons, one of the most experienced legal firms in securing DCOs. We were able to give information on what pipelines qualify under this legislation, the teams involved in delivery, the timeline and the phases required as well as the pros and cons of the DCO process.

We were also able to think forward to what the future holds for DCOs, including Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) schemes, hydrogen and blended pipelines. Some project engineers and those drafting tenders for upcoming DCO projects may not know much about DCOs and the processes involved as it is something very different to obtaining traditional planning permission.The webinar was an excellent opportunity to deliver this knowledge to professionals right across the UK.”

A recording of the presentation is available to watch on YouTube and for more information please contact Rachel Bridge.