Bond Dickinson planning experts lead the way on national infrastructure projects

• Bond Dickinson has been lead adviser on eight DCOs made since April 2012

20th April 2015 – UK law firm Bond Dickinson has acted as lead adviser on its eighth successful Development Consent Order (DCO) obtained from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for the Knottingley Power Project. Bond Dickinson acted for Knottingley Power Limited and ESB International, subsidiaries of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), the state-owned electricity company in Ireland, who promoted the scheme.

Located in East Knottingley, Yorkshire, the project consists of up to 1500 MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) power station and associated infrastructure which will be located at the site of the former Oxiris Chemical works. The consent was granted on 10 March 2015 and was the last DCO made before the upcoming UK General Election. It was the first CCGT project to be successfully consented under this regime. The cooling water pipelines will extract water from, and return it to the River Aire and the project will be served by a gas pipeline connecting to the grid 8km away.

In reaching his decision the Secretary of State considered that there was “a compelling case for authorising the Application, given the national need for the proposed Development and that the potential adverse local impacts of the Development do not outweigh the benefits of the scheme”. The team was led by partner Jonathan Bower supported by partner Victoria Redman on consenting and real estate partners Simon Hughes and Katherine Douglas on the land assembly. Legal Director Sarah Holmes advised on the environmental issues. The Bond Dickinson team undertook all of the hearings and advisory work on the application which was made in October 2013.

Since the Planning Act 2008 introduced a new consenting mechanism for the delivery of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) which began operating in March 2010, Bond Dickinson has been instructed to promote eight of the 36 Development Consent Orders (DCO) applications that have been made to date. These projects cross a number of sectors including transport, energy and waste. No other law firm has led on more.

Overall, Bond Dickinson has advised on a total of 16 of the 36 made DCOs and is advising on more at pre-application and examination stages.

Claire Brook, Partner at Bond Dickinson, said: “We are extremely proud to be leading on the consenting of NSIPs and helping to deliver important national infrastructure across the country. Our team is hugely knowledgeable and our pre-eminence in this area is a tribute to their hard work. We provide a commercial, solutions-based approach to DCO consenting strategies and this approach is delivering excellent results. A great deal of work went into the Knottingley project and we are delighted that it has had a successful outcome.”

David McNamara, Thermal Development Manager at ESB, said: “We’re delighted to have worked with Bond Dickinson to assist us in developing our portfolio. We already operate a number of CCGT projects in the UK as well as a portfolio of other energy projects. Bond Dickinson’s market leading experience in NSIPs guided us through the complex process and helped us deliver a consented project within our desired timescales.”

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