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Advice given between between 1 October 2009 and 14 April 2015 has been archived.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

East West Rail - Bedford to Cambridge and Western improvements

09 March 2021
Kathleen Hayhoe Derek Hayhoe

Enquiry

We are writing to you to ask for the Government to look into the failure in the adequacy of the EWR Consultation in the selection of Route E, Bedford to Cambridge and also the very dubious costings that have so far been produced. Originally Route E was the most expensive of the routes but somehow it has now become the cheapest option. How did that happen? There must be transparency of all the costings but these have still not been shared although have been requested. The latest costings we have seen show a dramatic increase to the figures for Routes A,B,C and D whereas Route E has been reduced. The new costings for Route E seem unbelievable as it must include redesign of Bedfordshire Midland Station and a longer route with more difficult topography. EWR quote that the consultation only had 7,204 responses across the wider Oxford to Cambridge region. Apparently 120,000 postcards were sent out to residents that would be affected but they do not appear to have been received by the North Bedfordshire villages. We, and other residents in Wilden, did not receive the cards. We believe that most of the consultation meetings happened south of Bedford and therefore there would be an unequal response to a selection of the preferred route. Route E is less direct and given it will be used for diesel freight trains running through Bedford town centre will significantly increase the carbon footprint. EWR when referring to Route B said that it would conflict with the Guided busway between Cambourne and Cambridge whereas EWR say that for Route E it will integrate with the Guided Busway. Surely Route E will be duplication not integration. Route E coming north out of Bedford Midland Station is cutting through unspoilt countryside and tranquil North Bedfordshire villages but this area will have no benefit for this route being chosen as no new station is proposed. Referring back to the costs we believe Route E with its difficult terrain , redevelopment of Bedford Midland Station and crossing a flood plain will eventually become the most costly option. We do not believe that this consultation by EWR has been conducted in a fair , transparent and legal way and therefore we are asking you to review the decision for choosing Route E. Thank you for reading this email and we look forward to your support.

Advice given

Thank you for your e-mails of 1 March 2021 in relation to the proposed East West Rail project. An application for this project has not yet been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (the Inspectorate). With regards to the proposed Bedford to Cambridge route, the Inspectorate understands that the Applicant ‘East West Railway Company’ (EWR), is currently undertaking detailed design work to define the preferred alignment of the tracks, following a non-statutory consultation in 2019. The Inspectorate also understands that EWR will be holding a further non-statutory consultation exercise in 2021. EWR will then conduct a statutory pre-application consultation in advance of submitting their application to the Inspectorate. The purpose of the statutory pre-application stage is to allow the developer to consult on their proposals so that they can be shaped with the input of communities and others before being finalised and submitted as an application. As the project is still at the pre-application stage, I would strongly encourage you to contact the Applicant directly with regard to your concerns, as they have a statutory duty to have regard to all consultation responses, which should be demonstrated in the Consultation Report as part of their DCO application. If you feel your comments are not being taken into account, I would advise you to also write to your local authority and set out why you think the Applicant is failing to conduct its consultation properly. Your comments will be considered by the local authority when sending the Inspectorate its representations on whether the Applicant has fulfilled its consultation duties which will be taken into account when deciding whether the application can be accepted for Examination. The Applicant can be reached in the following ways: By email: [email protected] By phone: 0330 1340067 By post: FREEPOST East West Rail The Planning Inspectorate has produced several Advice Notes to help provide an overview of the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008) process and the opportunities to get involved. They are available at the following link: attachment 1 The following are particularly relevant: Advice Note 8: ‘Overview of the nationally significant infrastructure planning process for members of the public and others’. Advice Note 8.1: ‘Responding to the developer’s pre-application consultation’ Advice Note 8.2: ‘How to register to participate in an Examination’. Please be assured that anyone interested in the proposed developments, their potential impacts and any planning matters can be fully engaged in the examination process. Please note, in accordance with Section 51 of the PA2008, a summary of your query and our advice will be published on the project’s webpage of the National Infrastructure Website. I hope you find the above information useful.


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