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Advice given between between 1 October 2009 and 14 April 2015 has been archived.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.
The London Resort View all advice for this project
Received: 1 July 2020 I refer back to your e-mail to me of 9th March 2020. There is one general point I wish to raise with you and some specific issues which it is essential are noted on the application case file and The Planning Inspectorate must consider. I registered to receive updates on this project from The Planning Inspectorate on 17th June 2017 but for some reason your system is failing to advise me when new documents are added to the website project file. Luckily I check the website regularly so am able to pick up any important additions such as the EIA Scoping Reports! Reference these reports, I trust you realise and pick-up on the flaws within them. Issues I wish to raise and upon which I expect the The Planning Inspectorate to revert to the Applicant are: SITE SELECTION I refer to the Applicant's Scoping Report Table 4.1 on Page 38. This is severely flawed as under the 'Swanscombe, North Kent' entry it states that both 'Land Use' and 'Regeneration & Economic Benefits' are positive. A significantly important element of this land (approx 40 acres at entrance to site) is not readily available for development as it is the home to approx 140 businesses, employing circa 1,000-1,500 employees with many offsite businesses also reliant on trading with them. The Applicant has failed to include this in their assessment (see also below - Estates). There were plans afoot by some of the existing landowners to invest in the estates but because of all the uncertainty these had to be put on hold. This would have significantly increased the local employment base so to claim it is suitable for regeneration with economic benefits is not accurate. ESTATES The Planning Inspectorate has been aware of these industrial estates (Northfleet Industrial, Manor Way, Kent Kraft and Rod End) for some years. However, when the Applicant applied for NSIP status for the project, to the best off my knowledge, no mention was made of them and the likely impact on the businesses. Furthermore, the fourth public consultation exercise undertaken by LRCH failed to include them but they were re-instated into their plans AFTER the consultation exercise was completed. It is interesting to note that the Applicant is at last confirming they have every intention of using the CPO process to take control of the required land, despite their then Chief Executive re-assuring the businesses at a meeting with them on 12th June 2017 that they would only use the CPO process as a last resort. There has been a draft document circulated by LRCH suggesting an option agreement but this will mean many businesses/landowners losing large sums of money, is riddled with flaws and, despite it being circulated TWO years ago, LRCH has yet to respond to any comments made by the businesses. The ultimate consequences of this ineptitude is that many businesses won't survive having already gone through the effects of HS1, Brexit, Coronavirus and now this! ENGAGEMENT The last constructive engagement between LRCH and the businesses was two years ago although some communication has been received in recent days. Over this time, PMG, representing the businesses, has sent endless e-mails to LRCH requesting responses to comments made on their offer, meetings, project updates etc but there has NEVER been any response. Thus in your e-mail to me dated 9th March you say ask the Applicant - how can one ask an Applicant if they are refusing to engage with parties impacted by their ill-thought out plans? Furthermore, LRCH has been constantly advised that it needs to engage with the individual businesses who have been affected by the implications of The London Resort project, many for eight years and more since the project was first suggested. Over this time the businesses have suffered blight, impacted trading, trouble raising finance for trading due to the uncertainties and some landowners have lost out on significant business deals which could have created thousands of additional jobs. Other businesses have already left due to the uncertainties. If LRCH was really serious about acquiring the site it has had ample opportunities to purchase elements of the estates - and make money to cover their investments. It has been made abundantly clear to LRCH that PMG does not represent the businesses but is in existence to give them guidance. It is up to LRCH to identify all the businesses and landowners and PMG has offered its support. However, LRCH has to date asked Argent, Savills and now Land Referencing Services (LRS) to undertake the compilation of a business and landowners register, only then will they be able to start any sort of negotiations. Again little has happened to date! This must be completed before any further progress can be made with the DCO Application or the Applicant has failed to undertake basic engagement/consultation activities. SUMMARY In the absence of any meaningful direct engagement with the Applicant, I hope The Planning Inspectorate will take onboard the above comments on behalf of PMG to ensure the businesses, employees, communities and the taxpayer is fully represented in consideration of the Applicant's performance and in responding to the EIA Scoping Report. Received: 6 July 2020 I must express my disappointment that there has been no acknowledgement of my e-mail of last week, as below, and it has not yet been posted to The Planning Inspectorate (NSIP) website as requested. Please can you acknowledge receipt as a matter of urgency. I should also be grateful if you can confirm that the EIA Scoping Reports published online for the above project are the final copies for consideration by all parties. I have to advise my Clients as to whether it is justified to consider a formal review of the process as the inclusion of the Industrial Estates was not included in the initial application for NSIP status to the then Secretary of State and is still missing in these latest Reports, a major omission that cannot have gone unnoticed by The Planning Inspectorate. I request an immediate response to this matter.
Thank you for your enquiry. I can confirm that the version of the Scoping Report published on our website is the final version. However, we will not be able to take your comments into account in the Scoping Opinion since the list of consultees is largely prescribed by law. Our Advice Note 3 ‘EIA Notification and Consultation’ provides more information and is available at this link: attachment 1 We advise you to consult the developer directly about your concerns.