Rookery South Energy from Waste Generating Station

Enquiry received via email

Rookery South Energy from Waste Generating Station

21 September 2020
Central Bedfordshire Council - Anita Taylor


Sir / Madam, I deal with the Councils’ responsibilities under The Rookery South Order 2011 for the construction of a circa. 50MW resource recovery facility in Bedfordshire. We have recently received a Rights of Way Strategy as required under the DCO and accompanying S106 agreement. Schedule 3, Part 2 of the DCO lists the new status of footpaths and cycleways within the Order Limits (please see attached). Could you please confirm that their reference within the DCO eliminates the need for these routes to be formally adopted by the Council under other rights of way / highway legislation and that they are effectively adopted as such by virtue of the DCO? In addition – if these routes were to be upgraded to bridleways would these need to go through the formal adoption process as the DCO does not specifically refer to them as such? Many thanks for your advice,

Advice given

Dear Anita, Thank you for your email regarding the Rookery South DCO and the Public Rights of Way (PRoW) affected. Firstly, if the PRoWs referred to in the DCO were to be adopted by the local highway authority then this would have been agreed as part of a s106 agreement with the relevant Council. You cannot assume their inclusion in the DCO confers any automatic adoption by the Council. I would recommend you check with your in-house legal team or records about this aspect of the implementation of the DCO. Secondly, given the DCO is explicit about the status of the new PRoWs in terms of their purpose and use, any change to this may require the applicant to make an application to the Secretary of State to change the DCO. There may be alternatives to that approach but again you would need to discuss this with the applicant and take your own legal advice as necessary. Obviously, how you would approach a change to the status of the PRoWs would depend on whether or not the Council was going to adopt them and when. Please contact us again if you have any further questions. However, please be advised that the Inspectorate is not able to provide legal advice and so if you have particular legal questions about the implementation of the Rookery South DCO you should consult with your own legal team in the first instance. Yours sincerely