London, 22 November 2023

Government admits 4 year DCO delay!

Quote: "...the delivery of big infrastructure projects in our country could be much better. It is too slow. Too bureaucratic. Too uncertain."

In a stunning admission of the delays in granting major infrastructure planning, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities states today 22/11/2023: “So, the UK needs to build faster. Even with the infrastructure that we have built, the public money committed, and the private investment attracted, the delivery of big infrastructure projects in our country could be much better. It is too slow. Too bureaucratic. Too uncertain.  Our planning system has slowed down – with some large projects now taking around 4 years to get to a final yes/no decision”.


AQUIND Ltd applied for the Development Consent Order for the £1.35bn AQUIND Interconnector ENERGY SUPER-HIGHWAY joining France and Great Britain on the 14th November 2019. It is still pending four long years on.


AQUIND director Richard Glasspool says ‘Consent regimes have evolved into a labyrinth that discourages anyone from developing major energy transition infrastructure. Many energy projects besides AQUIND Interconnector have been affected by ever-extending development consent order (DCO) timelines.’


The AQUIND Interconnector Project is currently in the final stage awaiting planning permission (DCO) from the Secretary of State (DESNZ) in the UK. With the submission now at 1468 days and counting, AQUIND holds the ‘unwanted and unnecessary delay’ record among the energy projects.


Notes to Editors
➢ AQUIND Interconnector is a bi-directional subsea electrical power transmission link between Lovedean Hampshire UK and Normandy France.
➢ AQUIND Interconnector will have the net capacity of 2 GW sufficient to transmit up to 17 TWh per year, which is equivalent to 5% of Great Britain’s and 3% of France’s total annual electricity consumption.
➢ AQUIND interconnector will help integrate a greater proportion of non-fossil fuel energy sources and intermittent renewables into the GB energy mix, helping meet the UK’s 2050 Net Zero target by reducing CO2 emissions by 22.5-25.7 million tonnes, avoiding the curtailment of 73,000-87,000 GWh of renewable energy and saving 92,000 GWh (e.q.) of fossil fuels in power generation (TYNDP 2020 and 2022).
➢ Interconnectors will help integrate the growing share of renewable power generation and satisfy the demand for electricity stemming from electrification of transport and other sectors of the economy.
➢ AQUIND Interconnector will help reduce the impact of volatile gas and coal prices, which have caused electricity bills to increase in 2022/23. By making energy markets more efficient and competitive AQUIND Interconnector will create £5.3-£9.6 bn in social economic welfare benefits over the first 25 years of its operation.
➢ AQUIND Interconnector will create construction contract opportunities worth approximately £1.35 bn, with 1,000 (direct and indirect) full-time jobs during the 2-year construction period, and bring additional investment to the local economy.
➢ AQUIND has attracted significant funds to finance pre-construction stage of the project, which is near completion. As soon as the Secretary of State grants the Development Consent AQUIND is ready to complete the tender process and proceed to the initial phase of the construction.
➢ AQUIND is engaging with key infrastructure (equity and debt) investors. Construction costs are estimated to be £1.35 bn. Revenues will come from congestion rent, GB and FR capacity markets, and ancillary services.


  • For enquiries relating to AQUIND Interconnector please contact:

    Johnny Stonborough (UK)
    +44 7771 893 683