Developments Of National Significance (DNS)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Council has prepared this FAQ to assist in responding to correspondence being received in relation to proposals within the county for Developments of National Significance.
The FAQ will be kept under review and updated as necessary.
What is a Development of National Significance (DNS)?
A Development of National Significance (DNS) is a type of planning application for a large infrastructure project of national importance, for example, a wind farm, power station or reservoir.
DNS Infrastructure projects are defined by The Developments of National Significance (Specified Criteria and Prescribed Secondary Consents) (Wales) Regulations 2016 (as amended).
How are DNS applications decided?
Decisions on DNS applications are made by the Welsh Ministers rather than Powys County Council (the Local Planning Authority).
Planning and Environment Decisions Wales (PEDW) (formerly the Planning Inspectorate) handles DNS applications on behalf of the Welsh Ministers.
A DNS differs from a normal planning application in the way that it is decided. Instead of your Local Planning Authority making the decision, an Inspector examines the application and makes a recommendation to the Welsh Minister based on planning merits and national priorities. The Minister then decides whether or not to grant permission.
Decisions on DNS applications must be based on Development Plan policies and other relevant material planning considerations and policies.
Development Plans relevant to the Powys local planning authority area are:
- Welsh Government's Future Wales: the national plan 2040 | GOV.WALES
- Powys County Council's Local Development Plan 2018
Where can I view DNS applications?
Applications for DNS proposals are made to PEDW which maintains a DNS Portal website:
This contains information on:
- proposed DNS cases
- live cases
- cases that have already been determined
Pre-application Stage - ways to be involved in the DNS process?
In preparing a DNS application, applicants are encouraged by PEDW to undertake early engagement, such as meetings with local communities to present their plans for discussion and address any issues that arise. Applicants also often have their own websites for their projects. This early engagement helps to inform the development of the application.
Prior to submitting a full DNS application to PEDW, the applicant is required to publicise and consult on the proposed application for a period of at least six weeks. This is known as Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) and further guidance on this is provided by PEDW:
Application stage - How do I comment to PEDW on DNS application?
PEDW advises that if you wish to submit a representation, please check the relevant casework page for the project in question to check if there is a live consultation. Any representation submitted outside a consultation window is likely to be returned as late or unsolicited. If there is a live consultation, please submit your representation to PEDW via e-mail, quoting the project title and new reference number in the subject line.
What is the role of Powys County Council?
The Authority is involved in various ways in the DNS process.
At the pre-application stage, Powys County Council is a specialist consultee and can comment on the proposal and the scope of an Environmental Impact Assessment. Some developers also seek pre-application advice with the Local Planning Authority.
At the application stage, it is a formal requirement of the DNS process for Powys County Council, in its capacity as the Local Planning Authority (LPA), to submit a Local Impact Report (LIR) to PEDW within 5 weeks of receiving a request from PEDW. The LIR gives details of the likely impact of the proposed development on the authority's area.
There is also provision within the regulations for other LPAs or Community and Town Councils to submit a Voluntary LIR.
The LIR is to give a factual, objective view of the impacts of the proposed development on the area in question. The impacts should be presented in terms of their positive, neutral and negative effects.
Guidance on LIR is provided by PEDW:
Where can I obtain further guidance on the DNS process?
Further guidance is published on PEDW's website.