Cysylltiad Gogledd Cymru
As you may be aware, there has been an active campaign on Anglesey against National Grid's proposals for a second line of pylons across Anglesey. Although the project is now officially cancelled, I am fearful that when the power station project is resurrected, or there is significant development of renewables, National Grid will return with exactly the same proposals. I want to make sure that doesn't happen, and see that the Planning Inspectorate, being ultimately responsible for making a recommendation to the Secretary of State, has a significant role to play. In general, the people of Anglesey are supportive of inward investment, so this is not a NIMBY campaign. I would like to see greater investment, so that electricity transmission does not harm other industries such as tourism and agriculture or effect house values. When you wrote the North Wales Connection Scoping Opinion, of behalf of the Secretary of State, you explicitly put impact on property value out of scope. However, when you wrote the similar Opinion for the similar project in Cumbria, there was no mention of property value being out of scope (so, therefore, was in scope). It strikes me as fundamentally unfair that you should treat Anglesey this way. The vast majority of the impact from the Wylfa Newydd project on property value derives from the grid connection. It is recognised in the Assessment of Sustainability for National Policy Statement EN-5 that electricity infrastructure can have a negative impact on property value, and this contributes to the negative socio-economic impact, estimated at £500 million. I request that in future the impact on property value is explicitly in scope. When National Grid financially appraise alternative options for the connection, they do so using a methodology of their own design. This does not follow the rigour of similar appraisals arising from Government policy. For example, the business case for the proposed deposit return scheme for plastic bottles puts a financial value to improved visual amenity from reduced littering. However, National Grid do not put a financial value to reduced visual amenity caused by pylons. If you, as the examiner of National Grid’s proposals, were to insist that the Treasury Green Book be used as the basis for all their financial analysis, I am convinced that the underground option would be selected. The public consultation was unsatisfactory. If you, as examiner, had engaged during the project development process, and understood the strength of feeling against pylons voiced during the consultation, I feel National Grid might have actually listened, and, more importantly, acted on that feedback. If you were to “host” the consultation feedback process, just as you host the Relevant and Written Representations, I think the public would have greater confidence in being given a “fair trial”. National Grid have way too much control over how they "play" the development process within existing guidelines, and I hope that you, and Ofgem, are able to rein them in, and in the process protect Anglesey.
Cyngor a roddwyd
Fel y gwyddoch, tynnwyd Prosiect Cysylltiad Gogledd Cymru (NWC) yn ôl gan yr Ymgeisydd ym mis Chwefror 2019; felly, o ganlyniad, nid yw’r Arolygiaeth Gynllunio yn cymryd unrhyw gamau pellach ar y cais hwnnw. Os bydd y Grid Cenedlaethol yn penderfynu dilyn cynnig ar gyfer Prosiect Cysylltiad Gogledd Cymru, neu gynnig tebyg, bydd Tudalen Prosiect newydd yn ymddangos ar wefan yr Arolygiaeth Gynllunio, lle bydd yr holl ddogfennau’n cael eu cyhoeddi. Bydd yn ofynnol, ymhlith pethau eraill, i’r Ymgeisydd gynnal ymgynghoriad statudol cyn cyflwyno cais i’w archwilio. Mewn perthynas â’r sylwadau sydd wedi’u cynnwys yn eich e-bost, rydym yn eich cynghori i’w codi’n uniongyrchol â’r Grid Cenedlaethol os bydd unrhyw gynnig yn codi yn y dyfodol. Nid yw Rheoliadau Cynllunio Seilwaith (Asesu Effeithiau Amgylcheddol) 2017 yn ei gwneud yn ofynnol i Ymgeisydd ofyn am Farn Gwmpasu gan yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol. Fodd bynnag, gall Ymgeisydd ofyn am un os yw’n credu bod angen hynny. Os gwneir cais o’r fath, bydd yr Arolygiaeth Gynllunio, ar ran yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol, yn ceisio barn ymgyngoreion statudol (megis Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn a Chyfoeth Naturiol Cymru) ynghylch yr hyn y maent yn ystyried y dylid ei gynnwys yn Natganiad Amgylcheddol yr Ymgeisydd. Rhoddir ystyriaeth lawn i’r ymatebion hyn wrth gwblhau’r Adroddiad Cwmpasu ac fe’u cynhwysir fel atodiad. Yn amlwg, gan nad oes cais gerbron yr Arolygiaeth, ni ellir gwneud unrhyw sylwadau ar gynnwys unrhyw Farn Gwmpasu yn y dyfodol, os gofynnir am un. Nid oes gan yr Arolygiaeth unrhyw awdurdodaeth i “gynnal” ymgynghoriad cyn ymgeisio gan Ymgeisydd. Mae’r gofyniad i ymgynghori, a’r holl faterion cysylltiedig, yn gorwedd gyda’r Ymgeisydd yn unig, o dan Ddeddf Cynllunio 2008, ac mae hyn yn helpu i sicrhau bod yr Ymgeisydd yn derbyn adborth uniongyrchol ar eu cynigion, gan eu galluogi, felly, i ystyried y sylwadau a wnaed. As you are aware, the North Wales Connection (NWC) Project was withdrawn by the Applicant in February 2019; therefore, as a result, no further action is being taken by the Planning Inspectorate on that application. Should National Grid decide to pursue a proposal for the North Wales Connection Project, or a similar proposal, a new Project Page will appear on the Planning Inspectorate’s website where all documents will be published. The Applicant will be required, amongst other things, to carry out statutory consultation before an application is submitted for examination. In relation to the comments included in your email, we advise you to raise them directly with National Grid if any future proposal arises. The Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 do not require an Applicant to request a Scoping Opinion from the Secretary of State (SoS). However, an Applicant may seek one if it considers necessary. If such a request is made, the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the SoS, will seek the views of statutory consultees (such as the Isle of Anglesey County Council and Natural Resources Wales) about what they consider should be included in the Applicant’s Environmental Statement. These responses are fully considered when finalising the Scoping Report and are included as an appendix. Clearly, as there is no application before the Inspectorate, no comments can be made on the contents of any future Scoping Opinion, if one is requested. The Inspectorate has no jurisdiction to “host” an Applicant’s pre-application consultation. The requirement to consult, and all associated matters, lies solely with the Applicant, under the Planning Act 2008, this helps to ensure that the Applicant receives direct feedback on their proposals, therefore enabling them to take account of the comments made.