Example Documents

The list below gives examples of what the Planning Inspectorate considers to be good examples of documentation submitted in relation to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs).

Inclusion in this list does not imply an agreement with the content of the document. It is an indication that the style, format and/ or approach used benefitted the examination of the associated NSIP application. Where relevant, for each document the Planning Inspectorate has stated what is good about the example document, and what could be improved.

Good examples will 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 and suggestions about potential documents to be included in this list via email at: [email protected]

Statement of Commonality

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
Richborough Connection ProjectNational GridThe Statement of Commonality (PDF, 706KB) was a ‘living’ document during the Examination stage.

The initial version was submitted (at Deadline 2) in response to the Examining Authority’s (ExA) 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’.

Guide to the Application

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
Richborough Connection ProjectNational GridThis Guide to the application (PDF, 82KB) 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 based 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 LimitedThis Consultation Report submitted by Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm Limited (PDF, 6MB) is clear and easy to navigate with useful process diagram near the start of the report.
Dogger Bank Creyke BeckForewindThis Consultation Report submitted by Forewind (PDF, 4MB) is well-structured as it clearly separates non-statutory and statutory consultation exercises undertaken as well as consultation exercises required under the EIA Regulations.

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

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 CouncilThis Adequacy of Consultation Response (PDF, 1.9MB) is concise but also comprehensive, and gives clear justifications as to why the consultation was adequate.

Local Impact Reports

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
North LondonGreater London AuthorityThis Local Impact Report submitted by Greater London Authority (PDF, 865KB) is particularly 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 CouncilThis Local Impact Report submitted by Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council (PDF, 2.4MB) provides a comprehensive early assessment of all the main impacts that the Examining Authority 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 Development Consent Order or associated documents could be improved.

It complies with the relevant guidance and with Advice Note One: Local Impact Reports, specifically by remaining objective and not drawing conclusions on the acceptability of the Proposed Development and thus remains a technical assessment of an advisory nature to support the Examining Authority.

It is also 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 AuthorityThis Statement of Common Ground submitted by E.ON Climate & Renewables UK Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Limited and South Downs National Park Authority (PDF, 416KB) is concise but still provides enough information to understand the position.

Usefully covers matters not agreed (or ‘uncommon ground’). Cross-references these matters to the Local Impact Report to avoid duplication.
Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm DONG Energy Walney Extension (UK) Limited & Natural England (Update to SoCG)This Statement of Common Ground submitted by DONG Energy Walney Extension (UK) Limited & Natural England (PDF, 1.8MB) 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 Timetable.

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

Responses to Written Questions

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
RampionNatural EnglandThis Responses to Written Questions document (PDF, 647KB) helpfully set out in a table format with the question and their response next to each other.

Written Representation

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farmMersey Docks and Harbour CompanyThis Written Representation (PDF, 1.4MB) sets context, is reasoned and sets out mitigations (and reasons).

Design Approach to Site Specific Infrastructure

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
Hinkley Point C Connection ProjectNational GridThe Development Consent Order for the Hinkley Point C Connection Project (HPCC) includes a requirement which states that post-consent approval schemes for specific infrastructure must be produced having regard to the Design Approach to Site Specific Infrastructure (DASSI) (PDF, 60MB), unless otherwise agreed by the relevant planning authority.

The DASSI supplements the HPCC Design and Access Statement providing design principles for which detailed design proposals would be prepared for post-consent discharge of Requirements.

It is considered good practice because it:

  • defines the landscape context and receptors;

  • explains the operational processes of the infrastructure;

  • sets out rationale for the siting and design of the site specific infrastructure;

  • sets out an overall vision;

  • sets out design principles in terms of massing, scale, materials and textures, and design style;

  • is highly illustrated giving examples (not necessarily to be emulated, but aspirational examples of design innovation);

  • analyses the scope for variation in developing detailed design; and

  • summarises the DCO Requirements and approval processes.

Technical Guide for solar power generation, storage, maintenance and decommissioning

ProjectSubmitted byWhy good?
Little Crow Solar ParkINRG Solar (Little Crow) LtdThis Technical Guide is helpful in assisting with the understanding of how the solar generating station and Battery Energy Storage System at Little Crow Solar Park would operate and interact with the local electricity network.

It provides a plain English explanation which covers: technical terminology; how solar panels produce electricity; the evolution of this generating technology and what that means for panel output; the expected electricity generating profile for a solar generating station; how the generated electricity reaches the electricity distribution network; and the operation of the battery storage system, maintenance requirements and decommissioning.