Consents are critical to the successful delivery of projects. Consent is an agreement with someone to take an action. For example, in the case of works involving the widening of a road using privately owned land, the permission of the landowner would have to be sought.
Inevitably, different types of works may require different consents types such as environment, town planning, highways, railway, and property consents. The identification and management of consents continues to be challenging, not helped by the lack of a ’body of knowledge’ in this specialist area together with associated complex legislative framework. Consents will inevitably be on the critical path of most infrastructure projects and, as such, early identification is advised. If your project requires consent(s) and you proceed to construction without obtaining the consent(s) you require, you could be committing a criminal offence.
It may also be helpful to have a Consents Strategy that sets out how you would go about identifying and obtaining any required consent. At a very basic level, the strategy should include; key stakeholders, communications plan for engagement with consent granting bodies, approval timelines, associated costs and risks,; for an example see the template Consents Strategy.