Example Documents

The list below highlights examples of what the Planning Inspectorate considers to be ‘good’ documentation submitted in relation to nationally significant infrastructure projects.

Inclusion in this list does not imply an agreement with the content of the document, but an indication that the style, format or approach used is one that others may benefit from using.

Good examples will continually be added to the list when suitable examples are identified. Documents will only be added once the period for Judicial Review has expired following the Secretary of State’s decision (or withdrawal of a project) or once a Judicial Review has been completed.

We welcome comments, suggestions and potential examples via email at: NIEnquiries@pins.gsi.gov.uk

Guide to the Application

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
Richborough Connection ProjectNational GridThis acted as a ‘living document’, capturing all updates/ revisions to the application documents and any new documents submitted to the Examination by the Applicant. It was proactively updated by the Applicant following each deadline in the Examination Timetable.

In conjunction with the Planning Inspectorate’s Examination Library, the Applicant’s production and maintenance of this document gave the Examining Authority (ExA) and Interested Parties certainty about document versioning. It also enabled Interested Parties to check whether their representations were being made on the latest iteration of the document submitted to the Examination.

It assisted the ExA in the reporting period, establishing from the Applicants point of view a comprehensive record of the ‘final application’. In the same context, it also made clear which versions of documents the Applicant proposed to be certified in the recommended draft Development Consent Order.

The document is helpfully structured because it:

- Captures both the Planning Inspectorate’s Examination Library reference and the Applicant’s corresponding localised document reference;
- Provides clear binary colour-coding to establish the status of each application document; and
- Maintains the structure of the application, as submitted, aiding navigability.

This document could have been further improved by:

- Providing hyperlinks to each document on the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

Consultation Report

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
Triton Knoll Offshore Wind FarmTriton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm LimitedClear and easy to navigate with useful process diagram near the start of the report.
Dogger Bank Creyke BeckForewindWell-structured as it clearly separates non-statutory and statutory consultation exercises undertaken as well as consultation exercises required under EIA regulations.

It also includes a ‘Compliance Checklist’ which acts as a useful tool when reviewing documents during acceptance.

Tables included within the Report clearly identify the requirements at acceptance which, again, assists when reviewing an application.

Adequacy of Consultation Response

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
RampionBrighton & Hove CouncilComprehensive and gives clear justifications as to why the consultation was adequate.

Local Impact Reports

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
RampionBrighton & Hove CouncilClearly set out (and accords with Advice Note 1) and breaks issues down into positive, negative and neutral impacts.
North LondonGreater London AuthorityParticularly useful as it takes a strategic scale approach to the identification of impacts from a linear scheme extending over a number of local authority areas and ensures that effects on services such as highways, transport etc are integrated.
East Anglia ONE Offshore WindfarmSuffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk Coastal District CouncilProvides a comprehensive early assessment of all the main impacts that the ExA had identified. Sets out the various development plans (including the status and relevant policies of each) and then gives a clear assessment of impacts under different areas with a conclusion on each. It also explains how the DCO or associated documents could be improved.

It complies with the relevant guidance and advice note, specifically by remaining objective and not drawing conclusions on the acceptability of the development and thus remains a technical assessment of an advisory nature to support the ExA.

Finally, it is a good example of local authorities working together.

Statement of Common Ground

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
RampionE.ON Climate & Renewables UK Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Limited and South Downs National Park AuthorityConcise but still provides enough information to understand the position.

Usefully covers ‘matters not agreed’. Cross-references these matters to the LIR to avoid duplication.
Walney Extension Offshore Wind FarmDONG Energy Walney Extension (UK) Limited & Natural England & Joint Nature Conservation Committee

DONG Energy Walney Extension (UK) Limited & Natural England (Update to SoCG)
Focused clearly on issues that were unresolved and tracked the progress towards resolution. This was a very useful tool for the parties involved and kept the Examining Authority up to date on the latest progress and future plan at each deadline in the examination.

These documents could have been further improved by cross-referencing to relevant documents in order to keep their overall size shorter.

Statement of Commonality

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
Richborough Connection ProjectNational GridThe Statement of Commonality was a “living” document during the examination stage.

The initial version was submitted (at Deadline 2) in response to the ExA’s request for the Applicant to provide a table showing commonality on specific points between Statements of Common Ground (SoCGs). The initial version was then updated several times during the Examination at appropriate deadlines, to show the updated position on the specific points.

The clear and consistent structure of both the individual SoCGs, and the Statement of Commonality document, assisted the ExA (and other parties) by providing an accessible overview of the current position between the Applicant and relevant parties. It also assisted in highlighting areas of difference between parties.

The document was helpfully structured in the following manner:

- Section 2 detailed the structure of each SoCG document and provided an up to date list of SoCGs (for each Examination Deadline);
- Section 3 provided an update on the status of each SoCG;
- Section 4 set out the commonality between SoCGs and a summary of the principal matters outstanding; and
- Section 4.2 provided a summary on specific areas where matters were identified as being “subject to ongoing discussion” or “not agreed”.

Relevant Representations

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
RampionNational TrustIt’s a reasonable length and has good structure as it summarises the overall position at the beginning, then addresses each topic and finishes with a short conclusion.
Atlantic ArrayMumbles Community CouncilClear about the areas of concern the community council holds with regards the application. It helpfully refers to specific geographic areas and aligns its representation with national and unitary development plan policies. It makes clear it disagrees with the applicant’s assessment of impacts, stating why and again referring to unitary development plan policies.
Atlantic ArrayFive Parishes Atlantic Array Working Group

Submitted by a working group of five parishes, set up especially to address potential on-shore repercussions from the proposed development. It set out the parties and the aims of the group, the local issues and concerns and stated areas where it considered further information was required from the applicant. At relevant representation stage, the Examination Authority found it useful to know the affected parishes were working together and to have the group’s views on matters the group felt needed to be addressed particularly during construction.

Responses to Written Questions

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
RampionNatural EnglandResponses set out in a table format with the question and their response next to each other is helpful.

Written Representation

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farmMersey Docks and Harbour CompanyIt sets context, is reasoned and sets out mitigations (and reasons).