DCOs, NPSs & NSIPs artwork
The 50 Shades of Planning Podcast


  • E24
  • 51:39
  • July 28th 2020

Will the Government's much vaunted radical reforms to the planning system allow Development Consent Orders (DCOs) to apply to large-scale, residential-led development proposals? It is an idea that has been around since DCOs, as wells as NPSs and NSIPs, were introduced by the Planning Act 2008, but perhaps now it’s time has come.

As well as considering the efficacy of the DCO regime as it relates to infrastructure projects, an expanded DCO regime is considered in a report by Barton Willmore, Copper, Womble Bond Dickinson and Hannah Hickman.

Sam Stafford discusses the report (link below) in this episode with co-authors Tom Carpen (Barton Willmore), Kevin Gibbs (Womble Bond Dickinson) and Hannah Hickman (Hannah Hickman Consulting).

LinkedIn profiles:

Tom - https://www.linkedin.com/in/tom-carpen-7102578b/

Kevin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-gibbs-24a39734/

Hannah - https://www.linkedin.com/in/hannahhickman1/

Some accompanying reading.

‘Can development consent orders help meet the challenges of our time?' by Barton Willmore, Copper, Womble Bond Dickinson and Hannah Hickman:


'Housing - Nationally Significant Infrastructure?' commissioned by Bond Dickinson and Quod:


'Unlocking Britain' by the Social Market Foundation:


'Following Orders: five actions necessary for DCOs and the NSIP regime to be used for large-scale housing' by Lichfields:


'The New Towns Question (Again)' by Simon Ricketts:


Some accompanying viewing.

The best of Jerry Springer's Final Thoughts:


The 50 Shades of Planning Podcast

Sam Stafford started writing the 50 Shades of Planning blog in 2012 and in 2019 turned it into a podcast. 50 Shades of Planning is about the foibles of the English planning system and it's aim is to cover the breadth of the sector both in terms of topics of conversation and in terms of guests with different experiences and perspectives.

50 Shades episodes include 'Hitting The High Notes', which is a series of conversations with leading planning and property figures. The conversations take in the six milestone planning permissions or projects within a contributor’s career and for every project guests are invited to choose a piece of music that they were listening to at that time. Think Desert Island Discs, but for planners! If you would like to feature on 'Hitting The High Notes', or know somebody that would make a great guest, please email [email protected]

If you have listened to Episode 45 of the 50 Shades of Planning Podcast you will have heard Clive Betts say that...

'In the Netherlands planning is seen as part of the solution. In the UK, too often, planning is seen as part of the problem'.

Sam said in reply that that would look good on a t-shirt and it does. Further details can be found here: http://samuelstafford.blogspot.com/2021/07/50-shades-of-planning-t-shirts.html

Sam is on Twitter (@samuel_stafford) and his blogs can be found here: http://samuelstafford.blogspot.com.

The 50 Shades of Planning Podcast is produced in association with BECG - the Built Environment Communications Group. BECG are on Twitter at @BECGUK and online at www.becg.com.

Why Fifty Shades? Well, planning is not a black and white endeavor. There are at least fifty shades in between...