Consents Advisory Service

Our specialist team helps you target, consolidate, and reduce risks around nationally significant infrastructure project (NSIP) design, consent, and delivery.

Our dedicated consents advisory service is led by Frances Fernandes, who brings her extensive experience to Infrastructure Matters. As a Senior Leader and Lead Examining Inspector at the Planning Inspectorate for the past 12 years, she offers an unrivalled understanding of the decision-making criteria and common challenges NSIP projects face at all stages of the Development Consent Order (DCO) process.

Frances is a recognised industry expert. With the benefit of her unique examiner perspective, she and her team provide unmatched strategic NSIP planning guidance and practical advice. Their expertise not only reduces risks but also brings greater focus and enhanced certainty to the planning process.


Frances Fernandes FRTPI

Managing Director

Our Expertise

Working across the water, energy, and transport sectors, we provide expert hands-on advice for applicants at all stages of the NSIP process.

Whether it is drawing together the team at the pre-application stage, understanding and navigating the criteria for acceptance of your DCO application or the importance of thorough stakeholder engagement and consultation, we are there to guide and support you.

Our goal is to ensure you have a robust approach to your DCO reducing risk and finding creative solutions to project challenges. We are committed to facilitating smarter, more efficient, and fairer infrastructure development processes, aligning with current market needs and regulatory frameworks.


Frances Fernandes FRTPI

Managing Director

Some of the projects

We Can Help With


Reservoirs, Water Transfer and Recycling.


Solar Farms, Offshore Wind Farms and Pipeline.


Ports, Rail, Airport and Road.

We are currently working on Solar, Pipeline, Reservoir, Water Transfer & Recycling, Offshore Wind and Highway DCO projects.

Our Services

Simple & Effective

Review & Audit

To assess an application’s readiness

Strategic Advice

To help navigate any stage of the DCO process

Consulting or Secondment

For detailed support throughout the process

Why Choose Us

Under the framework of the Planning Act 2008, DCOs entail rigorous national-level procedural requirements, with decisions made by the relevant Secretary of State. A DCO, beyond granting project consent, may encompass additional consents, licenses, and land acquisition authorisations, subject to specific criteria, while also delineating development particulars and requisite conditions.


Despite enhancements introduced by the NSIP Planning Process, navigating the DCO process remains daunting for many applicants, predisposing projects to heightened risk, potential delays, and diminished approval prospects.

Leveraging our team's expertise, we adeptly manage consent risks, offer practical insights, and engage seamlessly with the Planning Inspectorate. Our tailored approach enhances the likelihood of project approval, ensuring smoother progress and minimised obstacles.

Specialist Service

We provide high-level specialist strategic support for NSIP applicants, advising on likely issues at the pre-application stage, the high standards at acceptance, and what to expect and prepare for during the examination.

Examiner Insight

Frances possesses detailed cross-sector DCO knowledge and unrivalled experience of the NSIP process, having assessed DCOs for some of the UK's most complex and nationally significant projects.

De-risked Process

By leveraging Frances' in-depth, examiner understanding of NSIP decision-making criteria, we can substantially de-risk your DCO application. Reducing manageable risk will not only improve the likelihood of consent for your project but also deliver smarter, better outcomes.

Practical Advice

We work closely with your team to bridge the inevitable divides that exist between project sponsors, stakeholders, and regulatory bodies. By using more intelligent, best use of policy knowledge our primary focus is on practical outcomes at all stages of the project lifecycle.

Project Experience

Frances has spent more than a decade leading Panels considering multi-billion pound projects in the road, nuclear, offshore wind and wider energy sectors.

Frances' team brings extensive experience in town planning, urban development and sustainability infrastructure projects, gained in leadership positions across multi-national organisations, central and local government.

Here are just a few examples:

Water Reservoir

Hinkley Point C New Nuclear Power Station


Richborough High Voltage Electricity Grid Interconnector Project


Norfolk Boreas Offshore Windfarm


A14 Huntingdon to Cambridge Road Improvement project


Dogger Bank Creyke Beck Offshore Windfarm


Wylfa Newydd New Nuclear Power Station


Thames Tideway Tunnel


East West Rail


AQUIND Interconnector

Get in Touch

Talk to us for practical help with your DCO preparation and NSIP planning.

Visit us

Mermaid House, 2 Puddle Dock, Blackfriars London, EC4V 3DB

Call Us

0203 576 1413