Register of advice

The list below is a record of advice the Planning Inspectorate has provided in respect of the Planning Act 2008 process.

There is a statutory duty under section 51 of the Planning Act 2008 to record the advice that is given in relation to an application or a potential application and to make this publicly available. Advice we have provided is recorded below together with the name of the person or organisation who asked for the advice and the project it relates to. The privacy of any other personal information will be protected in accordance with our Information Charter which you should view before sending information to the Planning Inspectorate.

Note that after a project page has been created for a particular application, any advice provided that relates to it will also be published under the ‘s51 advice’ tab on the relevant project page.

Advice given between between 1 October 2009 and 14 April 2015 has been archived. View the archived advice.

Enquiry received via email


17 September 2020
Corylus Planning and Environmental Ltd - Helen Donnelly


Good Afternoon, I have a relatively straightforward question that I have ben unable to find the answer for on your website. I have been asked to look at a potential large scale solar park. I understand that if the export capacity is 50MW is will be a NSIP. What I am seeking advice on is the cumulative export capacity of a proposed solar park and an existing one. If the new solar park will have an export capacity of say 45MW but is adjacent to an existing site of 10MW will it be considered to be a NSIP? The two solar parks may share the same grid connection point but would be operated and managed separately. There would be no physical connection between the two, i.e each solar park would be fenced separately. Many thanks. Kind regards,

Advice given

Dear Helen, Thank you for your email about whether or not the proposed 45MW solar park you refer to in your email of 10 September would constitute an extension of an existing solar park. The definition of extension is set out in Section 235(1) of PA 2008 which states that, in relation to a generating station, it has the meaning given by Section 36(9) of the Electricity Act 1989. That provision of the Electricity Act states that, ““extension”, in relation to a generating station, includes the use by the person operating the station of any land or area of waters (wherever situated) for a purpose directly related to the generation of electricity by that station…”. You state that the 45MW solar park would be operated and managed separately to the existing 10MW generating station, however, you would need to clarify whether that is consistent with the definition in the Electricity Act that refers to “the person operating the station”. For example, if it was the same entity seeking to operate both stations independently of one another. You may also wish to explore the significance of the shared grid connection in that context and the ability of the solar parks to operate independently of one another. An applicant will need to satisfy itself, taking its own legal advice if appropriate, as to whether or not its proposal is an Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). The Inspectorate cannot provide you with a legal opinion on this. It should be noted that under Section 160 of PA 2008, it is an offence if a “person carries out, or causes to be carried out, development for which development consent is required at a time when no development consent is in force in respect of the development”. You may also wish to make enquiries with the relevant local planning authority about their willingness to accept an application for planning permission for your proposed solar park. Yours sincerely