Nationally significant infrastructure projects

About Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs)

Some planning applications are of national significance and are examined under the Development Consent Order (DCO) process by the Planning Inspectorate, rather than by the relevant planning authority. NSIP applications are consented by the relevant Secretary of State.

A DCO can incorporate a range of consents that normally have to be obtained separately and include powers for the compulsory acquisition of land.

As a host authority, the County Council is a statutory consultee in the DCO process for projects located in Surrey. The council therefore has an important role to play in Pre-application, Acceptance, Pre-examination, Examination and Post Decision stages.

NSIPs are large scale projects generally falling into five categories (energy, transport, water, waste water and waste). As such they can include a diverse range of schemes.

Within Surrey, both the Southampton to London Pipeline and the M25 Junction 10/A3 interchange NSIPs have been granted. Surrey County Council is also a host authority for two other DCOs currently in the pre-application stage – the Gatwick Northern Runway Project and the River Thames Scheme.

Further information on NSIPs is available on the National Infrastructure pages of the Planning Inspectorate website

Southampton to London Pipeline Project

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy granted development consent for the Esso Southampton to London Pipeline Project in October 2020. The purpose of the project is to replace 90km of the existing 105km underground aviation fuel pipeline that runs from Fawley Refinery near Southampton to the West London Terminal storage facility in Hounslow. The route runs through Surrey Heath, Runnymede and Spelthorne.

Information and updates on the project are available on the Southampton to London Pipeline Project website

Formal documentation relating to the examination process, is available on the Southampton to London Pipeline Project pages of the Planning Inspectorate website

M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange improvement

The Secretary of State for Transport granted development consent for the scheme in May 2022.

This junction is one of the busiest on the National Highways network, with almost 300,000 journeys every day. Due to the volume of traffic and the resulting queues, this area of the National Highways network has a poor safety record and one of the highest collision rates across their network. The scheme aims to reduce delays, smooth traffic flows and create safer journeys for all.

Scheme elements include:

  • Four new slip roads for the M25 junction 10 roundabout, so traffic turning left can pass through the junction easily
  • Increase of M25 from three to four lanes through the junction
  • The A3 will become four lanes either side of the junction 10 roundabout
  • Improvements to the A245 and Painshill roundabout
  • Closure of some local side road junctions and private access that currently connect directly with the A3
  • New and safer routes for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders

More information and updates on the project are available on the National Highways dedicated M25 junction 10 webpage.

Formal documentation relating to the examination process, including SCC input to the process, is available on M25 junction 10/A3 Wisley interchange improvement page of Planning Inspectorate website

Gatwick Northern Runway Project

Gatwick Airport Limited (GAL) is proposing alterations to bring the existing northern (standby/maintenance) runway at Gatwick Airport into routine use alongside the main runway, enabling the dual operation of both runways.

The project would enable Gatwick to grow to accommodate 75.6 million passengers per annum by 2038, an increase of 13 million passengers per annum compared to forecasts for single runway operation.

The Northern Runway Project incorporates:

  • Repositioning of the Northern Runway (12 metres north) and reconfiguration of taxiways
  • Expansion of the terminal buildings
  • A new pier and amendments to aircraft stands
  • Other airport facilities, including a waste facility, a new hangar and new fire training grounds
  • New office space and hotel rooms
  • Additional car parking
  • Road improvement works
  • Environmental and mitigation measures

Elements of the scheme, such as highway works and construction compounds, are proposed within the Surrey boundary.
GAL consulted on proposals between September and December 2021 and on scheme revisions, principally highway elements, in June and July 2022. More information on the project is available on the Gatwick Airport Limited website.

The County Council's formal response to GAL's statutory consultation was agreed in November 2021 (see item 221/21).

GAL anticipate that the Development Consent Order application will be submitted in 2023.

River Thames Scheme

The River Thames Scheme covers part of the largest area of undefended, developed floodplain in England. The scheme will consist of:

  • A new flood channel in two sections, through the boroughs of Runnymede and Spelthorne
  • Increases in capacity at three weirs and the Desborough Cut
  • Landscape proposals for new public green spaces, access improvements and new habitat areas

The scheme is being delivered in a partnership led by the Environment Agency and Surrey County Council. Surrey County Council will therefore have a dual role as both joint applicant and host authority during the Development Consent Order process. Procedures have been put in place to ensure that the statutory roles of the council as host authority remain independent.

A statutory consultation on proposals will be the next project milestone.

More information on the project is available on the River Thames Scheme website.