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Advice given between between 1 October 2009 and 14 April 2015 has been archived.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

Portishead Branch Line - MetroWest Phase 1 View all advice for this project

08 August 2019
Womble Bond Dickison LLP (WBD) - anon.


The applicant raised the following enquiries pertaining to their proposed DCO application expected for submission in September 2019: a. Could you please confirm you would like to see a revised version of the HRA and Avon Gorge Vegetation Management Plan? b. Are you happy with our proposal that we submit a Statement of Common Ground signed by both ourselves and Natural England in October/November 2019 given that we would hope by then to be just post-acceptance? c. Do you have any thoughts on our adaptive approach at this point? d. Given that the scheme is required to go into largely untested territory of IROPI and given some of the complexities of the context we have sought advice from Stephen Tromans QC on our approach to the HRA and the adaptive approach. We think it would be beneficial for all parties for us to include his advice in our application

Advice given

a. The Inspectorate would be happy to review a revised draft of the HRA and Avon Gorge Vegetation Management Plan documents if the Applicant wishes to submit copies. We note previous discussions about summer leave and that our normal review timescales are up to 6 weeks from the point of submission but will endeavour to respond within your indicated timescales. b. The timescale for submission of the Statement of Common Ground is a matter for the Applicant and the relevant statutory consultee to agree, however the Inspectorate encourages early submission of Statement’s of Common Ground, where possible, to enable Interested Parties and the Examining Authority to take account of this information in their formulation of representations and examination questions. c. In the absence of the detailed approach and methodology in relation to the adaptive approach and without sight of Natural England’s comments in respect of the approach, the Inspectorate is unable to make any comment at this time. Any comments made would necessarily be without prejudice to the Examining Authority’s views during examination. d. The Infrastructure Planning (Applications: Prescribed Forms and Procedure) Regulations 2009 require submission of sufficient information that will enable the Examining Authority to make an appropriate assessment of the implications for a European Designated site. It is for the Applicant to determine whether the legal opinion comprises part of the ‘sufficient information’.