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Developments of National Significance

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Applications for Developments of National Significance (DNS) projects are dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of Welsh Government.

A DNS is a type of planning application for a large infrastructure project of national importance – for example, a wind farm, power station or reservoir.

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.

A full list of the types of DNS developments is defined in the Regulations.

About the process

The DNS process is designed to encourage the applicants on such a scheme to undertake early engagement with:

  • the relevant Local Planning Authority,
  • local communities,
  • statutory consultees and
  • other stakeholders.

Anyone considering a DNS project should contact the Planning Inspectorate as soon as possible after a site has been chosen. This will ensure that as much work can be done to reduce objections to a scheme as possible before submission. This in turn allows the formal application process to be streamlined.


Once we receive something in writing indicating that an applicant is considering a DNS application for a site we will allocate it a reference number and add it to the list of pending applications. This should allow interested parties to easily follow the progress of a project.

View the list of applications on the Planning Inspectorate website (external link).

Information and guidance

The Planning Inspectorate has a suite of detailed Guidance for the DNS process. The DNS Guide for Communities has been written with community groups or interested parties who are not familiar with the DNS process in mind.


Applicants who wish to submit a request for Pre-Application Advice, submit formal notification of intention to submit a DNS application or submit an application should contact the Planning Inspectorate:


Telephone: 0303 444 5958

Interested parties who wish to make a Representation on a DNS project that has been formally accepted by the Planning Inspectorate can use the Representation form and submit it via e-mail using the relevant reference number.

We strongly encourage you to discuss your application with us in advance of submitting any of our forms, so that we can ensure that the resources necessary are in place and arrangements for the invoicing of fees are in place. If you do not provide advance notice, this may delay the handling of your request or the provision of our advice.

Relevant legislation

The primary and secondary legislation relating to DNS can be viewed online:

Town and Country Planning Act 1990  (external link)

Planning (Wales) Act 2015  (external link)

The Development of National Significance (Wales) Regulations 2016  (external link)

The Development of National Significance (Procedure) (Wales) Order 2016   (external link)

The Developments of National Significance (Fees) (Wales) Regulations 2016  (external link)

The Developments of National Significance (Specified Criteria and Prescribed Secondary Consents) (Wales) Regulations 2016  (external link)

The Development of National Significance (Application of Enactments) (Wales) Order 2016  (external link)

The Developments of National Significance (Specified Criteria and Prescribed Secondary Consents) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016  (external link)