The Sizewell C Project
I am writing to ask about the stage 3 consultation for sizewell C which is due to begin on January 4th 2019. EDF have a statutory obligation to adhere to the Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) during the Sizewell C preparations. "Section 47 of the PA2008 requires applicants to conduct its consultation in line with the SoCC. " In the SOCC, it says " It is intended that all stakeholders (i.e. local community, statutory stakeholders and other interested parties) will be consulted at each of the three formal stages of consultation." It goes on to say that "Public and stakeholder engagement will also be undertaken in the Outer Area " . The outer area plan for the Sizewell C development has a 20 mile radius around the site and includes lowestoft, felixtowe and ipswich . These towns were consulted with during the first 2 stages of the consultation, but there are no plans to hold any public exhibitions in any of these 3 towns during the 3rd stage of the consultation. I think that this is remiss of EDF as they have not answered many of the questions that have been asked by residents during the first 2 stages of the consultation. Please can I ask what the statutory requirement is in accordance with the SoCC. Are EDF obliged to consult in all the areas they suggested in the SoCC.
As you note the statutory requirement for an Applicant in regards to its Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) is set out in section(s) 47 of the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008). Specifically s47(7) states the applicant must carry out consultation in accordance with the proposals set out in the statement. Further to this, in the Acceptance period (i.e. the 28 days following the formal submission of an application) the Planning Inspectorate will scrutinise all of the application documents, including the evidence provided in the Consultation Report, applying the statutory tests set out in s55 of the PA2008. By the end of the Acceptance period the Planning Inspectorate (on behalf of the Secretary of State) must decide, in accordance with the tests in s55 of the PA2008, whether or not an application should be accepted for Examination. In reaching the above decision, s55(4) of the PA2008 makes explicit that the Planning Inspectorate must have regard to the Consultation Report and any Adequacy of Consultation Representations made by local authority consultees. Adequacy of Consultation Representations are defined by s55(5) of the PA2008 as representations about whether the Applicant complied with its duties under sections 42, 47 and 48. They are requested from all relevant local authorities on receipt of an application for development consent