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Infrastructure (Wales) Act 2024

The Infrastructure (Wales) Act 2024 (the Act) modernises and simplifies the process for developing significant infrastructure projects in Wales by establishing a single infrastructure consenting process for specified types of major infrastructure projects. This will speed up the consenting process for major projects on land and in the territorial sea, creating more consistency and certainty in Wales’ ability to deliver infrastructure projects in the future.  

Part 1 of the Act details when a development falls within the definition of a “significant infrastructure project” and provides guidance as to when specific projects, such as the construction or alteration of a rail freight interchange, harbour facility or airport (see sections 9-11), fall within that definition. The Act also allows the Welsh Ministers to amend Part 1 by regulations to add new types of projects to the definition of a significant infrastructure project, or to vary or remove the significant infrastructure projects currently defined in the Act. 

Part 2 of the Act requires the Welsh Ministers’ consent for a development that is a significant infrastructure project, or forms part of one. This is to be known as “infrastructure consent”. The Welsh Ministers can amend the requirements attached to this consent by regulations. 

Part 3 of the Act sets out the procedure for obtaining infrastructure consent; Part 4 sets out the manner in which applications for infrastructure consent will be examined; and Part 5 sets out how decisions on applications for infrastructure consent will be reached. 

Part 6 explains what may be contained in an infrastructure consent order, and the way these orders can be revoked or changed. Part 7 deals with enforcement, for example where development is carried out without infrastructure consent in place, or contrary to the terms of an infrastructure consent order. This Part also provides for the issue of notices of unauthorised development and temporary stop notices.

The Explanatory Notes to the Act provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.

Coming into force

Part 1, certain provisions of Parts 2 to 8, and Part  9 (except section 145) came into force on 4 June 2024, which is the day after the Act received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 147(1). The remaining provisions of the Act come into force when the Welsh Ministers make one or more orders. No such orders have yet been made. 

Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd

The Bill was introduced to the Senedd on 12 June 2023 by Julie James MS, who was the Minister for Climate Change at the time. It was passed by the Senedd on 16 April 2024, and received Royal Assent on 3 June 2024.

More information about the Act is provided on the Senedd website including a record of the Bill’s passage through the Senedd.

The Explanatory Memorandum that was prepared by the Welsh Government to accompany the Bill has been updated following Royal Assent.

Published on
Last updated
21 June 2024