Examination

Contents

  1. About the examination stage
  2. What happens at the examination stage
  3. What you can do if you have registered to have your say
  4. If you have missed the deadline to register
  5. More detailed advice

About the examination stage

The examination stage is where the examining authority will look at the proposed project and ask questions.

The applicant, anyone who is registered to have their say, official bodies and people whose land is directly affected can comment on the proposed development or answer any of the questions at each deadline.

This is usually done in writing. The examining authority will publish their questions at the times indicated in the examination timetable. The examination may also involve hearings if there are issues that the examining inspectors consider require discussing in detail.

This stage takes up to 6 months.

What happens at the examination stage

The examination stage is where the examining authority will consider the proposed development and ask questions.

The applicant, anyone registered to have their say, official bodies and people whose land is directly affected can comment on the documents or answer any of the questions at each deadline.

You can send your comments by filling in the online form in the project section of this website.

Anyone who has difficulty using online services can send us information by email or post. The project information in the project section of this website provides contact details for the project case team.

What you can do if you have registered to have your say

Once you have registered to have your say, you must use your interested party reference when submitting comments.

You can:

  • comment on the proposed development at each deadline
  • attend any hearings

All project documents, comments from others who have registered and examination questions will be published in the specific project section of this website.

To find out more about what you can do if you are registered to have your say, check our guide for having your say about a national infrastructure project.

If you have missed the deadline to register

You can look at the project information, but you cannot submit a comment.

If you have a legal interest in land affected by the proposed development and:

  • have not been contacted by the developer; and
  • did not register to have your say to become an interested party

Email the project team mailbox. The email address can be found in the contact us section of the project page.

More detailed advice

If you need more detailed advice, you can check our advice notes for more information.

Read the full set of technical advice notes

  1. Step 1 Pre-application

    This is where the applicant starts to create their application. The applicant is required to run a consultation and engage with people and organisations in the area. They must also create detailed documents about the impact the project could have on the environment.

    It is important to get involved at this stage to influence the application before the applicant sends it to the Planning Inspectorate.

    1. Find out what you can do at this stage and check our detailed guides
  2. Step 2 Acceptance

    This is when the applicant sends us their application documents. We check if we can accept the application for examination. We have 28 days to make this decision.

    1. How the acceptance stage works and what happens next
  3. Step 3 Pre-examination

    The examining authority is appointed and is made up of one or more inspectors. Anyone who wants to have their say will be able to register at this stage.

    The applicant must publish that the application has been accepted by us. They include when and how parties can register to get involved. The time period for registering is set by the applicant but must be no less than 28 days.

    The pre-examination stage usually takes about 3 months.

    1. What happens during the pre-examination stage
  4. Step 4 Examination

    The examining authority will ask questions about the proposed development. The applicant and anyone who has registered to have their say can get involved and submit comments at each deadline in the timetable. You can also attend hearings that may take place. This stage takes up to 6 months.

    1. What happens at the examination stage
  5. Step 5 Recommendation

    The examining authority writes its recommendation report. This must be completed and sent to the relevant Secretary of State within 3 months of the end of examination.

    1. Making a recommendation
  6. Step 6 Decision

    The decision stage is when the relevant Secretary of State then reviews the report and makes the final decision. They have 3 months to make a decision.

    1. Who makes the final decision
  7. Step 7 What happens after the decision is made

    Once the Secretary of State has made a decision, there is a 6-week period where people can challenge the decision in the high court. This is called a judicial review.

    1. What you can do after the decision has been made