Case study

Supporting Highways England on the A38 Derby Junctions DCO

Gateley Hamer

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Our team is advising and supporting Highways England with regards to a Development Consent Order (DCO) to improve three roundabouts on the A38 in Derby.

The intention behind the improvements is to relieve the current congestion problems and improve the reliability of journey times for the long term. The scheme involves the compulsory acquisition of multiple landholdings, in addition to the temporary possession of land and acquisition of rights over private land.

The scheme has included interfaces with vulnerable members of the population, as well as with a deaf school, a University, McDonalds, a petrol station, an Army Reserve centre owned by the Ministry of Defence, a development site, a garden centre and a number of residential properties.

Our role has been to lead the land workstream including: survey access arrangements, land referencing (producing the Book of Reference and Land Plans, Special Category Plans and Crown Plans), landowner consultation, case management, drafting the Statement of Reasons and Compulsory Acquisition Schedule, and continuing to support the examination by  responding to relevant representations, participating in the examination and advising on Land and Works Agreements and Statements of Common Ground.

I have worked with Ian at HS2 and on a number of Highways England projects and have witnessed the benefit that his in depth knowledge of DCOs and compulsory purchase powers delivers to a project team. He is adept at providing and delivering land acquisition strategies and identifying risks and opportunities. He provides leadership for the land workstream through the consenting process and ensures that projects satisfy statutory and legislative requirements, to minimise formal objections at examination...In my view, Ian is a leading industry expert for promoters of large infrastructure projects.
Phil King, Infrastructure and Major Project Consenting, Aecom

Throughout the examination stage, some of which was interrupted by Covid-19 measures with hearings taking place ‘virtually,’ the team supported the applicant in responding to Examining Authority questions and Affected Persons Relevant Representations, updating documents (Book of Reference, Statement of Reasons, Statements of Common Ground), and providing Expert Witness support at the Compulsory Acquisition hearings.  The examination has now closed with a decision anticipated in the next six months.

We are also instructed to lead on the land workstream for M54-M6 Link Road DCO which has recently been accepted for examination, and the A46 and M27 Compulsory Purchase Orders, both for Highways England.  

The Gateley Hamer team’s ability to work flexibly and to respond quickly to changes in design and land requirements significantly mitigated potential impacts on the project programme. Furthermore, the team’s DCO expertise assisted the navigation of the project through examination, even when interrupted by Covid-19 restrictions. 

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