We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Nationally significant infrastructure projects

Find out about Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and proposals that need Acts of Parliament or a Transport & Works Act Order.

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) are large scale developments such as new railways, roads, airports, power generating stations and the like, which need a type of approval known as a ’development consent order’. They follow a different process to planning applications. Pre-application consultation is a requirement. Following this promoters make their applications to the Planning Inspectorate, there is an opportunity for views to be put forward and the application is examined by Planning Inspectors. Then, taking account of the National Policy Statements, the Inspectors make a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State, who makes the decision on whether to grant or to refuse the development consent order.

Our involvement

As a prescribed consultee, we’ll be asked for our advice on proposals "likely to have an impact on inland waterways or land adjacent to inland waterways". This means that those promoting the project need to consult us before making their application (i.e. at the pre-application stage). We are also consulted when the application goes to the Planning Inspectorate.

We’ll make our views known at both stages. We decide, on a case by case basis, how involved we should get in the Planning Inspector’s examination of the application.

As the development consent order process also allows the compulsory acquisition of land and associated rights, we may be involved as a landowner.

Take a look at the table below to see recently decided and relevant live NSIP proposals that we have been consulted on.

Relevant infrastructure project Decided or Live
Eggborough Power Station, Goole, East Yorkshire Live
Blisworth Strategic Rail Freight Interchange, Northamptonshire Live
West Midlands Interchange, Staffordshire Live
Keuper Gas Storage, Middlewich, Cheshire Decided
East West Rail Network, northern Home Counties and East Anglia Live
North London Heating & Power Decided
Triton Knoll Electrical System, Lincolnshire Live
North West Coast Connections (National Grid), Cumbria and Lancashire Live
Silvertown Tunnel, London Live
Heathrow Western Rail link Live
North Shropshire Electricity Distribution Network Live

Get help on the NSIP process and how to respond to consultations as an individual or on behalf of a waterway organisation

A summary of the NSIP process can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website and a more indepth overview of our involvement on the NSIPs and other infrastructure projects page. There’s lots more advice and details of the applications on the Planning Inspectorate's site too.

Proposals needing an Act of Parliament

Some schemes, such as the High Speed 2 railway, are given the go ahead by an Act of Parliament. Find out about our involvement in HS2 here.

More general information about Crossrail 2, on which we're a consultee, can be found here.

Proposals needing a Transport & Works Act Order

A Transport & Works Act Order (TWAOs) applies to certain infrastructure projects not defined as NSIPs and not needing an act of parliament. We’re not currently involved in any proposed TWAOs.

Last date edited: 18 August 2017