Bramford to Twinstead Overhead Line

The list below includes a record of advice we have provided for this project. For a list of all advice issued by the Planning Inspectorate, including non-project related advice, please go to the Register of advice page.

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, including the name of the person who requested the advice, and to make this publicly available.

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Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
A meeting was held at the Planning Inspectorate with National Grid to discuss suspension of the Bramford to Twinstead Tee Connection project at pre-application.

A meeting note is attached.
A meeting note is attached.

27 November 2013
National Grid - Steve Knight-Gregson
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
Consultants acting on behalf of the promoter for the Bramford to Twinstead Tee 400kV Connection proposal at the 'pre-application' stage, requested information from the Planning Inspectorate in relation to major developments and potential cumulative impacts as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment process.

The Planning Inspectorate's response was by email.
Thank you for your letter dated 22 April 2013 addressed to my colleague Mr Ridley.

Please note that on 1 April 2012, under the Localism Act 2011, the Planning Inspectorate became the executive agency for operating the planning process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). However, the Planning Inspectorate is not the consenting authority as referred to in your letter. The Planning Inspectorate examines the application and makes a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State, who as decision-maker grants or refuses development consent.

The Planning Inspectorate?s non-statutory Advice Note 9 does advise, as you state, that the developer consults the local planning authorities and other relevant authorities about the potential cumulative impacts with other major developments and recommends that you continue to engage with these authorities to help you identify relevant projects for inclusion within the cumulative assessment for the proposed development. The Planning Inspectorate recommends that you document any such discussions with these bodies, which may form part of your consultation report provided with the Development Consent Order application, and record in the Environmental Statement whether the finalised list of projects included within the cumulative assessment has been agreed with these authorities.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the developer to ensure that their pre-application consultation fully accords with the requirements of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011) (PA 2008) and associated regulations and guidance. As the Planning Inspectorate is not a prescribed consultation body under Regulation 2 of the relevant EIA Regulations 2009 (as amended), we are not able to provide you with the information requested. However, information about the NSIP projects identified in your letter will be available on the individual project webpages on the National Infrastructure Planning Portal website:

[attachment 1]

25 May 2013
TEP - Amy Longmore
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
An update meeting with National Grid and their consultants Squire Sanders and 3G Communications was held at the Planning Inspectorate's offices in Bristol to discuss the 'Bramford to Twinstead Tee' project, currently at the 'pre-application' stage.

A note of the meeting is attached.

09 May 2013
National Grid - Simon Pepper
Enquiry received via post
Chattisham and Hintlesham Parish Council sent the Planning Inspectorate a copy of correspondence sent to the applicant for the Bramford to Twinstead proposal, currently at pre-application. The correspondence was in regard to the applicant's Connection Options Report, and resolutions passed by Chattisham and Hintlesham Parish Council and certain other statutory consultees over total undergrounding of the proposed development.

The Planning Inspectorate's response was by letter.
Thank you for your letter enclosing correspondence from Chattisham and Hintlesham Parish Council to National Grid about their Connection Options Report and proposed undergrounding for the Bramford to Twinstead project.

We appreciate being kept informed by stakeholders about Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. Your letter is useful for us to monitor emerging issues and any actions undertaken by statutory consultees in response to a pre-application proposal.

As you will be aware, however, The Planning Inspectorate can accept this letter for information purposes only. If the application is formally submitted to the Inspectorate an Examining Inspector will first assess whether the developer has met certain tests, having taken account of any adequacy of consultation representations from Local Authorities, under section 55 of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended by the Localism Act 2011). We have 28 days to complete this and decide whether to ?accept? the application to proceed to examination.

Should the application proceed to ?examination?, you will have the opportunity to register with us to participate in the examination and make formal written and oral representations and evidence to the appointed Examining authority.

I have included a copy of our Advice Note 8.1 that deals with how and when to make your views known on proposed projects and would highlight that responding to the developer?s pre-application consultation is the best time to influence a project and make any suggestions to the developer about how the impacts of a project could be mitigated. Your letter to National Grid demonstrates your participation in this regard. It is important, however, for stakeholders and statutory consultees to engage during ?formal? pre-application consultation, as the developer has a statutory duty to have regard to any written responses received.

For your information, I also enclose a copy of notes of the last two meetings we have facilitated at the request of local authorities and other local groups.

If you have any queries about this letter or any of the information provided in the advice note/meeting notes, do not hesitate to contact me.

25 July 2012
Chattisham and Hintlesham Parish - Stephanie Coupland
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
A tripartite meeting between the National Infrastructure Directorate, National Grid and their consultants 3G Communications, and Suffolk County Council with statutory consultees and local amenity groups, was held to discuss pre-application consultation and project development at the Suffolk County Council offices in Ipswich on 15 May 2012.

A note of this meeting is attached.
See attachment.

15 May 2012
Suffolk County Council - Michael Wilks
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
An update meeting with the National Infrastructure Directorate and the promoter, National Grid, as well as their consultants 3G Communications and The Environment Partnership, on the Bramford to Twinstead Tee 400kV Connection Project, was held at The Planning Inspectorate offices in Bristol on 11 April 2012.

A note of this meeting is attached.
See attachment.

11 April 2012
National Grid - Simon Pepper
Enquiry received via email
I have some concerns about the IPC's possible ruling on the above project. The background to my concerns is as follows.

I attended an exhibition put on by Scottish Power Renewables to outline their plans re East Anglia ONE Offshore Windfarm. They happened to mention that they would not be allowed to put the infrastructure in place during phase 1 to cover all 3 phases, i.e. each phase had to be put to the IPC independently and that the reason for this was one of cost. I'm guessing that if the costs were front loaded then it might make that phase seem uneconomic. The company would prefer to 'gamble' on all 3 phases happening at sometime and put all 3 cables in place during the first phase and absorb the costs if the second and third phases don't happen.

If you look at the total costs of providing the infrastructure then it must be cheaper for us all and less disruptive to the local population to excavate the ground once and put in 3 cables rather than to do dig it up each time. However as they are planning on burying the cables it is a less sensitive issue to that of National Grid who are proposing to put the cables overhead. There is tremendous opposition to them doing this - the proposed routes traverse areas of natural beauty and would blight the views.

This made me think that the same issue might apply to National Grid as Scottish Power in that if they had the choice they would be happier to deal with the infrastructure for all three phases in one hit. This would also make burying the cables more of a palatable economic option.

My questions to you are therefore:

does the IPC insist on phased infrastructure work?
if so, then why when it is not only cheaper in the long run for the country but also leads to more visually appealing solutions for the residents?

Thank you, in advance, for your efforts in unravelling this for me.
Thank you for your recent questions regarding the Bramford to Twinstead Overhead Line and the accompanying background information.

The IPC does not insist on developers having a phased implementation of any infrastructure project. Under Section 51 (2) of the Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) the IPC is specifically excluded from advising developers or other parties on the merits of an application for a development consent order (DCO) or commenting on the merits of any proposed details contained within such an application.

Both the Bramford to Twinstead Overhead line and the East Anglia Offshore Windfarm projects are still at pre-application and at this stage the IPC advises developers on the Planning Act 2008 process.

The cost effectiveness of the chosen solution and the impact on local residents of construction and operational phases of any proposed development are matters which can be brought to the attention of the developer during the pre application consultation. The idea being that the application is prepared with the input of the public and statutory consultees. I would therefore advise you to make these points known to the developers of Bramford to Twinstead and East Anglia Offshore schemes at the time they conduct their pre application consultation. I understand that National Grid is part way through their programme of consultation at the present time in respect of Bramford to Twinstead and you should make these views known to them.

07 September 2011
Cllr David Busby
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Discussion between National Grid, local authorities and interest groups on consultation procedures that have been undertaken so far, chaired by the IPC.
[attachment 1]

14 June 2010
Interest groups, National Grid Local Authorities