Nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIP) are large projects such as:

  • power stations
  • pylon lines
  • railways
  • large wind farms
  • reservoirs
  • harbours
  • airports
  • sewerage treatment plants
  • nuclear power plants

Applications for Development Consent Orders are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination and decided by the Secretary of State. We are a consultee to this process.

Each application is reviewed primarily against National Policy Statements covering matters such as energy, transport, water and waste, although local policy can also be relevant. We have policy in place in both our adopted Core Strategy and Policies Sites and Places Plan.

Before submitting an application for consent, developers must show they have consulted with the right people and organisations and that their views have been considered. Both we and local communities are consulted.

Active projects in South Gloucestershire

There are 3 nationally significant infrastructure projects active in South Gloucestershire:

  • Hinkley Point C connection project
  • clean-up and demolition of the defueled Magnox power station at Oldbury
  • a 150ha site north of Magnox power station designated in national policy for nuclear new build

We are also consulted on projects in adjacent local authority areas. 

Severn Edge

The Western Gateway-led Severn Edge initiative is promoting the regeneration of sites at Oldbury and Berkeley to host nuclear and related opportunities that would contribute to net zero and deliver high quality education, training, skills, and job opportunities for our local communities, along with environmental benefits.

Following Severn Edge’s shortlisting to host the UK Atomic Energy Authority’s pioneering fusion project and the Ministerial decision to locate it in Nottinghamshire, further interest in the Oldbury and Berkeley sites has included from Rolls Royce and other technologies.

As part of the development there may be the potential to reuse existing Magnox infrastructure that is not needed for decommissioning, including the tidal reservoir and grid connections.

Horizon Nuclear Power Ltd own two sites that were proposed for new nuclear power stations at Oldbury and Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey, but these proposals have been withdrawn.

Horizon have committed to being a good neighbour and responsible landowner, and to maintaining contact with us and local communities. More information is available on Horizon Nuclear Power’s website.

Magnox is working on a programme of decommissioning that is expected to be completed in the 2080’s. Current work includes the retrieval, conditioning and packaging of waste and demolitions of buildings that are no longer needed. The substation has recently gone and this will be followed by the demolition of the turbine hall.

Hinkley Point C connection project

The Hinkley C connection Project will provide a new high voltage grid connection to the proposed new build nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.  Although the majority of works are in other local authority areas, this scheme includes a relatively short stretch of new pylon line running through the Enterprise Area at Severnside in South Gloucestershire, before linking to the existing Seabank Power station.

National Grid promoted the project and the Secretary of State gave consent on 19 January 2016. Further information is available on the National Grid’s Hinkley Connections website.

Our role during the planning stages was as a consultee on the project. Working with other affected councils and the National Grid throughout the pre-application and examination stages of the project, we sought to ensure that impacts of the project on our communities, businesses and environment and the wider Severnside Enterprise Area are minimised.

Our current role is in discharging requirements that are relevant to South Gloucestershire and attached to the Development Consent Order. Discharge of Requirement applications made by the National Grid to South Gloucestershire Council, and both the applications and decisions on these are available by searching Public Access, our planning applications website.

This project is due to be completed in 2025.

Working arrangements

At the start of any pre-application involvement with the project promoter, we promote the use of Planning Performance Agreements (PPA) to ensure we have the necessary resource in place to service these large and complex projects.

The PPA sets out working arrangements and ensures an efficient project managed approach to the work. It also ensures that the project promoter provides resource to cover additional work that we may need to do in assessing and advising on matters such as planning, design, impact assessment and mitigation.

The signing of a PPA does not bind us to any future decisions or recommendations. The documents include specific commitments that we will act independently, impartially, and in accordance with our statutory duties at all times.

We have one current Planning Performance Agreement in place for the implementation phase of the Hinkley C Connections Project.

In support of our role as host to a proposed nuclear new build site, we are a member of two groups which work to promote the best social, economic and environmental outcomes for host communities:

  • New Nuclear Local Authorities Group (NNLAG)
  • Nuclear Advisory Legacy Forum

Both groups help support efficient and effective working by sharing best practice and learning from experience on other sites, as well as seeking to positively influence emerging policy and practice of government and regulators.

New Nuclear Local Authorities Group (NNLAG)

Made up of local authorities that are proposed to host new nuclear power stations. In January 2020, NNLAG published an independent study by Oxford Brookes University on the impacts of the early stages of construction of the Hinkley Point C new nuclear power station.

This study is intended to help local government and other stakeholders to work with developers, to plan and implement such projects so that opportunities and benefits are maximised and negative impacts are minimised.

Nuclear Legacy Advisory Forum (NuLeAF)

Made up of local authorities that host existing nuclear power stations, including those that are being decommissioned and waste facilities. NuLeAF is regularly consulted by government departments and the regulators on proposals related to decommissioning and radioactive waste management.

Oldbury Site Stakeholder Group (SSG)

This is an independently chaired and administered group by Magnox to provide local communities with more information about the work there. It is intended as a forum for open and transparent communication between host local communities, the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency, the site operator (Magnox) and the regulators such as the Environment Agency and the Office For Nuclear Regulation.

While focused on the Magnox power station, the SSG has provided the opportunity for the promoters of nuclear new build to present to and engage with local people and organisations.

Due to the proximity of the sites, the Oldbury and Berkeley SSG’s generally meet together. Find out more about the Site Stakeholder Groups.

Previous consultation responses

You can read our previous responses to consultations about nuclear proposals:

Fees and charges

These are approved annually by Executive Member decision. Following a non-rechargeable introductory meeting, our charges for the provision of pre-application, post submission or post consent advice and services for NSIPs will be either:

  • as set out in a Planning Performance Agreement or
  • at standard hourly rates for officer time or
  • as set out in consented NSIP documentation

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