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Advice provided between the period between 1 October 2009 and 13 April 2011 has been archived and remains available to view on this spreadsheet.

Enquiry received via email

East Anglia TWO Offshore Windfarm View all advice for this project

03 May 2018
William R Halford

Enquiry

Dear Mr White
I am assuming that as Infrastructure Planning Lead, you have overall responsibility for Planning Inspectorate's supervision of the statutory processes being undertaken by ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) prior to its eventual submission of DCO Applications for the two proposed wind farms East Anglia ONE North and East Anglia TWO.
I live in Aldringham which lies at the centre of the EA1N and EA2 designated 'Onshore Study Area'. You may already be aware that SPR's onshore plans for these two projects have given rise to considerable concern with local communities in and around Aldringham. I have myself expressed a number of local concerns to ScottishPower both at and following its recent Phase 2 Information Day events.
1. Omission of Aldringham-cum-Thorpe's formal response to Scoping Report following Phase 1 Consultation on EA1N and EA2 Scoping Reports
Aldringham-cum-Thorpe's Parish Council (a "Prescribed Consultation Body") responded to SPR's initial Phase 1 Consultation by letter dated 7 December 2017. This letter referred to both EA1N and EA2 projects and was clearly received on time.
However, it has been omitted from the Planning Inspectorate "Scoping Opinion" document re EA2 ref EN010078 (though included in APPENDIX 2: RESPONDENTS TO CONSULTATION AND COPIES OF REPLIES in the Planning Inspectorate's "Scoping Opinion" document re EA1N ref EN010077).
Have our Parish Council's comments been overlooked as a consequence of this error?
Refs:
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2. Concerns re: "Draft" Statements of Community Consultation for EA2 and EA1N
SPR posted a formal "Notification of Statement of Community Consultation for EA1N and EA2" and wrote to me on 13 March 2018 inviting me to review these draft documents before midnight 3rd April 2018. I met this deadline and received acknowledgement of my letter on 17 April. I feel some of my comments may be of interest to yourselves:
• Approved SoCC’s were not in place before Consultations commenced – Phase One completed in December 2017 and Phase Two completes on 3 April 2018, but SoCC’s are dated March 2018 and Consultation on SoCC’s is still in progress.
• I was confused by receiving files named “EA1N” / “EA2 SoCC FINAL signed off.pdf” if these are still drafts and under review and the printed copies of Statement of Community Consultation (EA1N), dated March 2018 and available at the March Information Days would appear to be Final Versions. Therefore I have an impression that this is some kind of retrospective and fake consultation just for the sake of formality?
• Provisional decisions on where to locate Substations and tranches of cabling seem to be running ahead of the Consultation schedule. For example, although the two Projects are clearly already favouring the western Zones and have already informed our local parish councils that it is planning its preferred route crossing Aldeburgh Road near Fitches Lane, Aldringham, there has been no Consultation on any of this during Phase One or Phase Two.
• Re: Para 34 - Phase Two Consultation and Para 39 - Phase Two Consultation: these paragraphs should specify which aspects of Infrastructure are to be consulted on at each Consultation Phase. In practice, this has led to the illogicality of seeking Consultees’ views on Substation Zones in Phase Two and Cable Tranche routes in Phase Three. From a resident’s point of view it can be difficult to consider these in isolation from each other.
• The Phase Two Feedback Form is over simplistic, asks assumptive and leading questions (Questions 6 and 7) and provides no structure within which to comment on the merits and demerits of each of the seven potential Substation Zones. See attached example Feedback Form.
My full response to Phase 2 Consultation and Information Days held in Southwold, Leiston and Thorpeness
I feel SPR, as just one of a number of companies / consortia planning to connect offshore power lines into the coast between Sizewell and Thorpeness, is not in a position to address key issues regarding the placement of Substations and large tracts of underground power lines. Further, a number of apparently ill thought through constraints would seem to have been imposed on SPR forcing it to propose environmentally unacceptable power installations inland and well away from the already industrialised coast at Sizewell.
I feel the Planning Inspectorate should be aware that central coordination (probably at Government level) is desperately needed if Suffolk's inland landscape and environment is not to be for ever blighted. I would hope you agree that the Planning Inspectorate as the 'Planning Authority' (at least for EA1N and EA2) has a major part to play in that and in helping ensure that local as well as national interests are protected.
You can find a fuller explanation in my full response to Phase 2 Consultation (attached).
I hope this email and its attachments can be of some assistance, providing the local residents' viewpoint at this critical stage for these two major infrastructure projects.

Advice given

Dear Mr Halford,
Thank you for your email and the attachments in relation to the above projects, and raising concerns regarding the pre-application consultation process for the proposed East Anglia ONE North and East Anglia TWO projects.
Please accept my apology for the delay in responding to your email.
As the projects have not yet been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate (the Inspectorate), the Inspectorate has no formal powers to intervene on consultees’ behalf and we are therefore not in a position to supervise the statutory consultation process conducted by the Applicant.
I would therefore encourage you to again contact the developer directly to make your concerns heard as the Applicant has a statutory duty to take your views into account. However, if you feel that your comments are not being considered and you need further information, I would advise you to write to your Local Authority (LA) and set out why you think the Applicant is failing to conduct its consultation properly. Your comments will be considered when the LA provides its comments to the Inspectorate on whether the Applicant has fulfilled its consultation duties. The LA’s comments on the Applicant’s consultation will be taken into account when the Acceptance Inspector makes his/ her decision whether to accept the application for examination.
Should the application for the Development Consent Order (DCO) be accepted by the Planning Inspectorate for examination, the Applicant has a duty to notify the local community when providing information on how to register as an Interested Party for the purpose of the process.
The Applicant has scheduled further statutory consultation in June 2018 as per their Statement of Community Consultation, and as part of the DCO process, the Applicant is required to have a regard to all consultation responses which should be later provided in the Consultation Report as part of the DCO application. During the statutory consultation period, the Applicant intends to provide more detailed information on the proposed projects, including the potential Substation Zones.
The process under the Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) has been designed to allow members of the public and statutory stakeholders to participate in examination of all DCO applications. During the examination of an application the Examining Authority (ExA) has a duty to take into account all matters assessed by the Applicant in the Environmental Statement and may ask additional questions as required.
More information is provided in the Planning Inspectorate’s Advice notes:
Advice Note 8: Overview of the nationally significant infrastructure planning process for members of the public and others
At the current pre-application stage we would recommend especially:
Advice note 8.1. Responding to the developer’s pre-application consultation
Advice Note 8.2. How to register to participate in an Examination
By submitting a Relevant Representation during the pre-examination stage you as an individual and/or on behalf of the Parish Council are in position to highlight particular planning matters such as effects on the local communities in and around Aldringham that you have mentioned in your email.
We have also published a document 'Section 47 - Community Consultation - Frequently Asked Questions' regarding Pre-application consultation which may address some of your queries. However, please note that it is for the Applicant to decide how to carry out non-statutory and statutory consultation, and there is no statutory requirement under PA2008 for the Applicant to consult on the content of a Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC).
With regard to the Scoping Opinions issued by the Inspectorate on 20 December 2017, on investigating the matter I can assure you that the scoping consultation response was received within the time period and was taken into account on preparation of the Opinions. Unfortunately a clerical error has occurred on preparation of the Appendices to the East Anglia Two Scoping Opinion, meaning that Aldringham-cum-Thorpe Parish Council were not listed as a respondee and the ‘pdf’ file of the letter was not reproduced in the Appendix. We cannot amend a Scoping Opinion once it has been published; however, thank you for drawing this to our attention. We will of course take steps to avoid a reoccurrence of this error. Scoping is an early part of the pre-application process and hopefully my comments above are useful in explaining how you can be involved at pre-application and going forward should the application be accepted for 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. A copy of your correspondence has been placed on our records and will be presented to the Inspector at acceptance together with the application documents and local authorities’ comments on the Applicant’s consultation.
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.


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