Wrexham Energy Centre
E-mail received by the Planning Inspectorate by Mr George Tranter:
We exchanged letters in February regarding the above project when I complained about the failure of Wrexham Power to consult residents of Bangor on Dee regarding their proposals and in particular their claim that there was a preference for the southern electrical corridor when they had never sought our views.
You replied quite properly that this could be put right during the statutory consultation process. Unfortunately WPL appear to have taken an irreversible step. On 31st May Mr Daniel Chapman of WPL wrote to our MP Ms Susan Elan Jones regarding the proposals and included the following unequivocal statement
The Electrical Connection. We have compiled the coments and defined a revised corridor which broadly follows the southern route corridor, taking into consideration topography, existing vegetation, proximity to housing, settings of listed buildings and any landscape constraints.
I confess that I had expected the statutory consultation to be on both electrical corridors with WPL keeping both options open. That is clearly not the case which promptly sets at naught your carefully reasoned and appropriate comments about the procedures under sections 42 and 47 of the Planning Act 2008. In your letter you rightly said'"the applicant's consultation programme may evolve over time in response to comments received from consultees" We now know how things have evolved and I am at a loss to be able to say that there will ever be consultation by WPL that meets sections 42 and 47. Had they discussed matters with us on a choice of corridor basis and overruled our comments I could have no procedural grounds for complaint but they have not done so and I do need your advice on what procedure to follow in the absence of WPL repudiating their letter of 31st May which will be difficult as it is to the local MP
Cyngor a roddwyd
Thank you for your correspondence of 12 June 2013 regarding the above project. Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying to you.
In your correspondence you raise further concern about the consultation process carried out by Wrexham Power Ltd and state that the village of Bangor-on-Dee has, to date, been excluded from the consultation process. You also refer to a letter that the applicant has written to your local MP Ms Susan Elan Jones in which the applicant indicates that they have 'defined a revised corridor which broadly follows the southern route corridor'.
As you are already aware, the proposed project is currently at the pre-application stage and is expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in late 2013. I again advise that you continue to contact the developer directly at this stage of the process and inform them that you consider their informal consultation to be unfair and inappropriate. You may also wish to continue to raise your concerns with Wrexham County Borough Council (WCBC) in order for them to take this into account when they are consulted on what should be included in the content of the applicant?s Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) under s47(2) of the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008). WCBC should be well placed, having local knowledge to comment on such matters.
I understand that the developer has yet to commence statutory consultation under s42, 44 and 47 of the PA2008 on their proposals which the applicant must do before submitting their application to the Planning Inspectorate.
Please note that it is inappropriate for us to comment on the matter of consultation at this stage since it might be taken to pre-judging what decision the SoS may come to at acceptance stage on the adequacy of the developer?s pre-application consultation. As stated in s55 of the PA2008 ?Acceptance of Application? the SoS must, when deciding whether or not to accept the application for examination, amongst other matters, have regard to any representation received from any local authority consultee about the adequacy of the consultation and publicity undertaken by the developer at the pre-application stage.