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Advice given between between 1 October 2009 and 14 April 2015 has been archived.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


05 August 2020
Horus Capital - Stefano Romanin


Subject: Solar PV NSIP planning Dear James, We have been in touch before in relation to the requirements for NSIP on solar PV projects. Horus is starting the development of 3 single and independent projects, that will share a grid connection at the DNO level (but not at project level). Please find enclosed a brief presentation of the proposed development. We would like to ask you a confirmation that we can progress the planning for the projects with the LPA and that the projects do not fall under the NSIP regime. We remain at your disposal if you need any additional information. Thanks in advance for your support. Regards, Stefano Romanin | CEO Horus Capital 20 North Audley Street London, W1K 6LX, UK [email protected]

Advice given

Dear Mr Romanin, Thank you for your query of the 24 July2020 regarding the proposed three solar PV sites, located at two disused airfield sites in the vicinity of Eaton upon Tern and High Ercall in Shropshire. Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying. As you will be aware, under section 14(1)(a) of the Planning Act 2008, as amended (PA 2008) the construction or extension of a generating station is defined as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (‘NSIP’). Section 15 of PA 2008, amongst other things, provides that the construction or extension of an onshore generating station in England is within section 14(1)(a) only if the generating station, when constructed or extended, is expected to have a capacity of more than 50 megawatts. Development consent for development that is or forms part of a NSIP must be sought through the NSIP regime, as provided for by PA 2008, rather than under other legislation including, where relevant, the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (see section 31 of the PA 2008). An application for such a project would be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with the process outlined on the National Infrastructure Planning website. If you decide to submit an application to the relevant local authority, the Council will need to satisfy itself, taking its own legal advice if appropriate, as to whether or not any proposal can be considered and determined by the planning authority under any regime other than the development consent regime provided for by the PA 2008. 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”. It will of course be for the developer who proposes to construct the generating station to decide whether or not to apply for an order granting development consent, taking their own independent legal advice. Please note that the Planning Inspectorate does not have the power to give a legally binding interpretation on such matters. Only the Courts can provide a definitive interpretation of legislation, and, so far as we are aware, to date there has been no case law on this point under the PA 2008 regime. The Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State, is only able to decide whether an application for an order granting development consent can be accepted for examination, under section 55 of PA 2008, once an application has been formally submitted. Looking at the information provided, you assert that the solar PV installations on the three sites will operate independently of each other and this is indeed pertinent to considering whether all or some of the sites can be considered as different generating stations. It is also pertinent that the solar parks will share a connection to the DNO and a shared capacity agreement has been negotiated with National Grid. Other material considerations that may inform whether these are separate generating stations are related to the environmental impact of the proposals, if the development requires an Environmental Impact Assessment. In particular, we note that two of the sites, Peplow and Eaton upon Tern solar parks, are immediately adjacent to each other and are likely to be viewed as a single solar park in landscape and visual terms. It may also be pertinent in environmental terms if they are constructed at the same time by the same contractor and how the construction impacts are therefore assessed and mitigated. Another consideration may also be whether all of the sites are operated by the same entity and the maintenance regime(s) for the installation(s). This email should not be taken as providing any view on which is the appropriate consenting regime for these proposals, nor should any advice given in this letter be taken to pre-judge any future decisions that may be made by, or fetter any discretion of, the Secretary of State in relation to these proposals. Please note that the Inspectorate has a statutory duty to record and make publicly available any advice, such as this, given under s51 of the PA 2008 about applying for an order granting development consent; or making representations about an application, or a proposed application for a development consent order. If you wish to seek any further advice in relation to the NSIP planning regime and these proposals, please contact us again. Yours sincerely Mark Wilson