Medworth Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power Facility
We noted in some correspondence that PINS advised that MVV Medworth’s consultation summary may not be able to be made public. Council officers will need to circulate all the information on the application to elected members who may wish to publicise all aspects of the NSIP, and therefore I wondered if you are able to give any indication on whether this would be the case and if so, why? It has been suggested that this might just be a matter of the timing of getting documents uploaded to the PINS webpage for the NSIP and if so, it may be that MVV Medworth make this information public themselves. Noting the 14 day response time given on Adequacy of consultation, we are looking to front load as much work as possible so I’d be grateful for any information or advice you can provide on this point.
In response to your query, as to why the Consultation Report may not be in the public domain during the Acceptance period and must not be shared with Third Parties, please note the following information. As you are aware our letter sent to you on the 12 May 2022 states that ‘the Consultation Report may not be in the public domain so please do not share the version that we send to you with any third parties’. I can provide an explanation for the reasoning behind this. As indicated in paragraph 15 of the Planning Inspectorate’s Advice Note Two: attachment 1 the role of local authorities in the development consent process, with the agreement of the Applicant, the Planning Inspectorate will publish the NSIP application for development consent with all its associated documentation on the National Infrastructure website as soon as practicable after its receipt (including the Consultation Report). However, it is the Applicant’s decision whether they agree to this, so they may decide to have the application documents published only if the Application is accepted for Examination. Therefore, it is up to he Applicant whether to opt to have all the Application documents published during the Acceptance period. You may wish to explain to your council members that the ‘Acceptance stage’ for NSIP applications is similar to the checking and validation process that a local authority would carry out in respect of a planning application. Given the statutory status of the pre-application stage in the NSIP process, the Planning Inspectorate also has a role to check that the pre-application consultation undertaken by the Applicant was in accordance with the Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008), including the Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC). The Inspectorate must also consider whether the Application and its supporting documents are satisfactory and capable of being examined within the statutory timescale. The statutory timetable for the Acceptance of an application is 28 days, beginning with the day after the date of receipt of the application. As soon as possible after receipt of the application, the Planning Inspectorate will then invite the host and neighbouring local authorities to submit an Adequacy of Consultation representation (AoC). The Planning Inspectorate must have regard to any comments it receives from host and neighbouring authorities in deciding whether or not to accept an application The Inspectorate will be seeking the Adequacy of Consultation representation from the relevant local authorities, including Cambridgeshire County Council within 14 calendar days of the request. To enable this the local authorities will be sent an electronic link to the Consultation Report. It is important to note that a local authorities positive view about an Applicant’s compliance with these statutory duties will not prejudice a local authority’s objection in principle to the Application or any part of it. As at this stage the local authorities are not being asked for views on the merits of the Application. For further information on the NSIP process your council members may wish to view our suite of Advice Notes attachment 1 and Frequently Asked Questions attachment 3 I hope you find the above information helpful to explain to your council’s members. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in contact.