Background to Planning

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The M5 junction 9 and A46 (Ashchurch) Transport Scheme is a proposal to upgrade the M5 junction 9 near Tewkesbury and re-route the section of the A46 which currently passes through Ashchurch to the east of the M5 (between M5 junction 9 and Teddington Hands roundabout). You can register your interest to receive updates about the scheme by emailing

The process to be followed for NSIPs

There are six stages of the development consent regime for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects otherwise known as NSIPs:

Pre Application
The Examination
Recommendation and Decision
Post Decision

The development consent regime is the process applicants must go through when seeking permission to construct an NSIP. NSIPs include generating stations such as wind farms and power stations, electricity line such as new power lines and pylons, transport projects such as the building of roads or railway lines, waste and water such as the construction of a reservoir or wastewater treatment plant, pipelines for example to carry natural gas between a power station and the national transmission network.

The primary legislation that underpins the development consent regime is the Planning Act 2008.

Pre Application stage

At the Pre-application stage the applicant is at the centre of the process and has full responsibility for developing the project. An applicant is likely to be a large developer, a government agency or possibly a local council. The development consent regime is a front-loaded process. This means the development proposal has to be fully scoped and refined before the submission of an application to the Planning Inspectorate. It is at this stage that the applicant must formally consult with all statutory bodies, local authorities, the local community and any affected persons.

If your land is subject to any Compulsory Acquisition you will be an Affected Person and will be notified by the applicant.

Once an application has been submitted there is very little scope for change.
Therefore, those who wish to influence any proposal should engage with the applicant at this stage when the applicant advertises its consultation. You will usually respond to the consultation via email, on the applicant’s website or at a consultation event.
This should be done by the deadline set in the publicity.

The applicant is required to take into account any relevant responses received during formal consultation. The Pre-application stage can take as much time as is needed and is driven by the applicant.

Acceptance Stage

It is at this point that the Planning Inspectorate moves to the heart of the process.
The Application is formally submitted by the applicant to the Planning Inspectorate.
We must decide within 28 days whether all relevant documentation has been submitted to enable the application to proceed.

If we refuse the application there is a six-week window for the applicant to raise a legal challenge. If we accept the application the process moves to the next stage. Depending upon the preference of the Applicant, the application documents will have either been published on the National Infrastructure Planning website on receipt of the application or directly following the decision to accept the application.

Pre-examination Stage

At the Pre-examination stage the applicant must publicise that the application has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate and include when and how parties can register to get involved in the Examination as Interested Parties.

The time period for registering is set by the applicant but must be no less than 28 days.
From within the Planning Inspectorate, an inspector, or panel of inspectors, will be appointed as the Examining Authority.

A Preliminary Meeting will then be held to discuss procedural issues and the timetable for Examination.

All Interested Parties will be notified of the date of the Preliminary Meeting.
After the close of the Preliminary Meeting, all parties will be notified of the Examination Timetable. The close of the Preliminary Meeting marks the end of the Pre-examination stage.

The Examination Stage

The Examination stage starts the day after the close of the Preliminary Meeting.
It is at this stage that the Examining Authority examines the application and the Examination must be completed within six months.

The Examination is primarily conducted through written representations; however, hearings can also be held.These will normally be conducted in an inquisitorial manner.
Each Interested Party is entitled to make oral representations about the application.

Recommendation and Decision

During this stage the Examining Authority has three months to write its recommendation and submit it to the relevant Secretary of State.

The relevant Secretary of State makes the final decision for all NSIPs. The Secretary of State has three months to make its decision whether or not to grant consent.

Post Decision Stage

The final stage of the process is the Post Decision stage.
This provides a six-week window for the applicant, any of the Interested Parties, or indeed anyone else to legally challenge the Secretary of State’s decision.

Background to Scheme (GCC)

M5 Junction 9 and A46 (Ashchurch) Transport Scheme
Dft Guidance
Major Road Network and Large Local Majors Programmes: programme investment planning.

Dft Website

Large Local Majors Programmes: programme investment planning
Investment Planning Guidance

The purpose of this guidance is to enable regions to plan and prioritise investments
in a way which makes best use of the targeted funding from the National Roads
Fund. In developing it, the Department has considered responses to the MRN
consultation and has engaged with Sub-national Transport Bodies (STBs), local
highway authorities and other stakeholders in order to set out a structured approach
to investment planning. In particular, we value the input from STBs and look forward
to working collaboratively on the progression of the MRN and Large Local Majors
(LLM) programmes.

Investment Planning Guidance For the Major Road Network and Large Local Majors Programmes Moving Britain Ahead

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government - National Planning Policy Framework 2021

National Planning Policy Framework 2021

Proposals for the Creation of a Major Road Network

Proposals for the Creation of a Major Road Network Consultation

Related documentation can be found at
Major Road Network and Large Local Majors programmes investment planning

Here you can find out about proposed Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) within England and Wales.

This site is managed by the Planning Inspectorate, the government agency responsible for examining applications for NSIPs.

Responding to the developer’s pre-application consultation

Teddington & Alstone A46 Advisory Group