The development process

Gate Burton Energy Park is anticipated as having a generation capacity of around 500MW. The amount of electricity the scheme could generate means that it is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).


The development consenting regime for an NSIP comes under the Planning Act 2008. This means we have applied for a Development Consent Order (DCO) to build Gate Burton Energy Park.

In the case of energy-related development, the Planning Inspectorate acts on behalf of the Secretary of State at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. The Planning Inspectorate has carried out an examination of our proposals and is in the process of writing a report to them make a recommendation to the Secretary of State on whether or not to grant consent for the development. The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero will then make the final decision on whether to grant consent for our scheme.

We anticipate that the development process through DCO submission, examination and decision will take between two to three years. Subject to consent being granted, the earliest construction could start is early 2025.

More information about the NSIP application process can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Pre-application consultation

Public consultation forms an important part of the pre-application process for NSIPs. Early and ongoing engagement serves to inform and influence the design process, with local councils, stakeholders and residents all having an important role to play.

Ahead of the DCO application being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, three stages of public consultation were held on our proposals and we will continue to engage with stakeholders as the project progresses.

You can find information the DCO process on the Planning Inspectorate’s website here, along with Advice Notes here.

Stage One Consultation - 11 Jan to 18 Feb 2022

We held a first stage of consultation for Gate Burton Energy Park in early 2022. This non-statutory consultation ran for nearly six weeks from 11 January to 18 February 2022.

The aim of this consultation was to introduce Low Carbon and the overall project and share our early-stage proposals to give people the opportunity to share their views and local knowledge.

Through this consultation we specifically sought views and feedback on:

  • overall project,
  • an indicative concept masterplan for the solar energy park,
  • three broad corridor options a grid connection to Cottam substation could be routed in,
  • suggestions for local initiatives and projects we could support to benefit those communities closest to the project.

Feedback submitted to this consultation helped us better understand those aspects of our early-stage proposals for the solar energy park that people wanted us to prioritise as we have continued to evolve the design for the scheme.

You can find out more about this first stage of consultation here.

Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC)

On 8 June 2022 we published our Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) setting out how we will engage with and obtain feedback from the local community on our detailed proposals for Gate Burton Energy Park as part of our Stage Two Statutory Consultation.

As the developer for the project, we then have a duty to demonstrate how we have had regard to the comments we receive during this consultation when we finalise our application for development consent.

In preparing the SoCC we engaged with those Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) which 'host' the Project; West Lindsey District Council, Lincolnshire County Council, Bassetlaw District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council. We took the views and feedback they provided in producing our final SoCC.

A copy of our SoCC is available to view and download here.

Stage Two Consultation - 22 Jun to 5 Aug 2022

Having continued to refine our proposals for the project, we carried out a second stage of consultation. This second stage of consultation was statutory consultation as required under sections 42 and 47 of the Planning Act 2008.

During this statutory stage of consultation we provided information and invited feedback on:

  • The overall project
  • Our updated concept masterplan setting out where equipment would be located within the solar energy park
  • The broad corridor in which an electrical connection into Cottam substation could be routed largely using underground cable
  • Measures we’re proposing to avoid or reduce those impacts associated with the project that were identified in our preliminary environmental assessment work and feedback to earlier consultation
  • Community benefits

You can find out more about this second stage of consultation here.

Further to this consultation closing, we have continued to review our proposals in light of all the feedback received, along with the findings from our ongoing assessments so we can finalise our detailed proposals for Gate Burton Energy Park.

Targeted consultation – 03 Nov to 13 Dec 2022

Following Stage Two statutory consultation on our proposals for Gate Burton Energy Park, we made some localised changes to the extent of certain works for the project.

These changes related to minor additions made to the boundary for the project – known as indicative Order Limits – which result in a small increase in land take. The reasons for these changes relate to the engineering and construction of the project. We also adjusted the indicative Order Limits in a number of places so that they follow field and land ownership boundaries.

You can find out more about this stage of consultation here.

Where we are now

The Planning Inspectorate’s examination on Gate Burton Energy Park closed on 4 January 2024. The Examining Authority has written its recommendation, which will now be reviewed by the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, who will make a final decision. The expected decision date is 4 July 2024.

All the documents produced for our DCO application are available here on the Planning Inspectorate’s website or here on our website.

Development process timeline

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What happens when the application has been submitted?

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