The West Midlands Interchange proposal constitutes a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (a NSIP). As such it is considered under the Planning Act 2008 rather than the normal town and country planning route. Under the 2008 Act applicants apply for a Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Secretary of State – in this case from the Secretary of State for Transport.
FAL submitted a DCO application to the Planning Inspectorate on 3 August 2018.
After a 21 day assessment period, The Planning Inspectorate accepted the application for Examination on 24 August 2018. It then set a timetable for a detailed examination of the application, in which stakeholders and the public can participate. The examination began following the Preliminary Meeting on 27 February 2019 and will continue for 6 months.
The Planning Inspectorate then has 3 months to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who then has a further 3 months to make a decision.
More details on the planning process for national infrastructure can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.