With policy reforms for national projects high on the agenda for the UK government, major infrastructure leaders will come together at the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) Forum in London on 6-7 March 2024, to examine the latest policy updates and plans to speed up the consenting process.

The two-day event, which will take place at the Royal National Hotel in London, will provide an opportunity for key stakeholders in major infrastructure projects, to network and share ideas concerning some of the biggest challenges currently facing the sector.

Some of the key issues under discussion will be policy reforms, changes impacting the regime, and practical advice on all elements necessary for developing NSIPs that lead to the successful granting of Development Consent Orders (DCOs).

A keynote address at this year’s forum will be delivered by James Heath, chief executive at National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). He will explore recommendations made in the second National Infrastructure Assessment.

Other speakers include Natalie Freislich-Mills, strategic lead – skills for infrastructure at Suffolk County Council, who will give practical advice on how to build an effective skills strategy for NSIPs. While Douglas Johnson, director of advocacy at the global strategic communications and advocacy group SEC Newgate, will provide valuable insight into improving consultation and community outreach for major infrastructure projects.

A panel comprising Jamie Baldwin, development project director at Ørsted (the largest energy company in Denmark), and Charlotte Rushmere, principal planning officer for national infrastructure at Essex County Council, will discuss the future of major infrastructure planning and how to create certainty in the process while navigating timeline constraints.

Another panel discussion involving Jim Kitchen, national infrastructure manager at the Environment Agency, will explore how to create a collaborative planning process – one that includes working with key stakeholders across the heritage, nature and environment sectors.

The event will be chaired by Gideon Amos OBE, the former planning inspector, UK Infrastructure Planning Commissioner and head of the Town and Country Planning Association, now managing director of Amos Ellis Consulting.