Medworth Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power Facility
I refer to your letter dated 12th May 2022 regarding the above. Providing that the application is submitted by 7th June 2022, we will be taking an urgent item to Planning Committee on 15th June. I will need to explain to Members why the Consultation Report may not be in the public domain and must not be shared with Third Parties. Please can you advise the reasoning behind that approach?
Thank you for providing the contact details for your Local Authority in regard to the Medworth Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power Facility Nationally Significant Infrastructure project (NSIP). In response to your query, as to why the Consultation Report may not be in the public domain 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: 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 on whether they agree to this, so they may decide to have the application documents published only if the Application is accepted for Examination. 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 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 the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk within 14 calendar days of the request. Please note that a local authorities positive view about 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 and Frequently Asked Questions I hope you find the above information helpful to explain to your council’s members.