Tyne Bridge. General view of bridge.
Tyne Bridge. General view of bridge. © Historic England
Tyne Bridge. General view of bridge. © Historic England

Major Development Schemes and Infrastructure

Aimed at developers and local authorities involved in nationally significant infrastructure projects, this page explains Historic England’s approach to major road and energy schemes, and their impact on historic buildings and places.

Notice – Mandatory Recharging Update

From 1 April 2024, as empowered through the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act 2023, Historic England will be able to recover costs for all services and engagements provided during nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs).

Before submitting an application, the developer is required to obtain necessary heritage information and to carry out extensive consultation on their proposals, including with Historic England.

As part of our pre-application advice service we consider the impact of these proposals on the historic environment and offer specialist advice. The developer is expected to consider their proposals in light of these consultations. If a NSIP is being considered, we therefore welcome and recommend early engagement.

We also provide advice relating to Development Consent Order and other supporting documents, which will also be rechargeable. An example of this could be post-consent science advice in relation to archaeological requirements both on and offshore. Early discussions help to identify these matters and develop costing estimates for the relevant stages of the process.

Each NSIP engagement will be governed through a contract or Service Level Agreement, which will define the required services and likely charges.

Items to be included in the estimate may be:

  • Set-up and estimating time
  • Staff advisory time
  • Site visits and meetings
  • Document review
  • Legal services
  • Procurement
  • Third-party consultancy services
  • Core Historic England business functions related to staff time
  • Specialist equipment required

The method for estimating the likely costs will combine the required services calculated against Historic England’s actual costs.

We may at times need to include additional expertise or other services, for which we will recover costs through these agreements. We will discuss this with applicants, as soon as possible in the process.

Transitional Arrangements

NSIPs commencing after 1 April 2024 will be charged from the date of engagement with the applicant.

NSIP’s that commenced before 1 April 2024 will be charged from the start of the next major project phase.

Please also see our page on enhanced advisory services for more information on cost recovery.


Improving the nation’s infrastructure is one of the government’s top priorities, with transport and energy identified as key areas.  The roads and railways are currently subject to major investment.  The supply of energy in the UK is being transformed with the introduction of a new generation of nuclear power stations.

A number of these sites are of historic interest and the proposed schemes could have direct or indirect impacts on the historic environment.  This needs to be properly assessed so the impacts can be fully understood and addressed, where appropriate.

Due to their large scale most of these schemes are likely to be defined as nationally significant infrastructure projects where a set of new procedures apply.

Nationally significant infrastructure projects

The Planning Act (2008) created a new regime of development consent for certain types of nationally significant infrastructure.

These are:

  • Major energy projects
  • Railways
  • Ports
  • Major roads
  • Airports
  • Water and
  • Waste project

Developers can also take the most significant business and commercial projects through this route if they wish.

The purpose is to simplify and speed up planning consent whilst reducing the need for separate consents, enabling decisions to be taken faster. Applications are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination.

Once complete, a recommendation is put to the relevant Secretary of State who will make a final decision on the Development Consent Order. The government's website, Planning Portal, gives further information on the process.

Historic England is a statutory consultee on all Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects and Annex E of the Planning Inspectorate Advice Note 11 gives further advice to applicants on how to work with us, together with our pre-application information requirements.


Our webpage on transport describes in more detail the principles that Historic England will follow when considering transport-related policy and development.

Renewable energy

We have also produced advice on how renewable energy projects, such as wind turbines, solar panels and biomass, might affect the historic environment and their impacts avoided or minimised.

The design of new infrastructure

We believe that well-designed new infrastructure can dramatically improve historic places, and have produced this advice on Modern Infrastructure and the Historic Environment:

Policy Development Team

  • Address

    4th Floor, Cannon Bridge House,
    25 Dowgate Hill,
    EC4R 2YA