Transport for London queried the process for issuing a second notice under s56 of the Planning Act 2008.
On the basis of the evidence shared by Transport for London (TfL) with the Planning Inspectorate, our opinion is that if TfL chose not to notify the new company under s56 before it provided certificates under ss58 and 59 of the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008), then an offence would be committed and the Planning Inspectorate would need to consider the appropriate action to be taken.
To avoid the risk of creating such an offence, TfL should serve s56 notice on the new company before any certificates are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. The new s56 notice should provide a minimum period of 28 days within which the new company may make a relevant representation (RR) to the Planning Inspectorate. It should also make clear to the new company that the RR period as previously notified has closed, and that within the bespoke 28 day period any RR from the new company should be sent to the Silvertown Tunnel project mailbox at the Planning Inspectorate: [email protected]
Having served notice on the new company under s56, TfL could then, as soon as practicable if desired, provide s58 and s59 certificates to the Planning Inspectorate which would not contain a statement that TfL knew to be false or misleading, and had not been recklessly issued.
In respect of the implications of the above for the process, the Planning Inspectorate will be unable to publish the RRs received in the period publicised in the original s56 notice until such time as:
1. The new company makes a RR to the Planning Inspectorate in the manner described above; or
2. The 28 day (minimum) period provided to the new company expires and a RR has not been received from it.
However, neither eventuality will prevent the appointed Examining Authority (ExA) from issuing its invitation to the Preliminary Meeting under Rule 6 of the Infrastructure Planning (Examination Procedure) Rules 2010.
In summary, it is unlikely that the circumstances described above would delay the anticipated programme; at least in terms of the timing of the Preliminary Meeting and the structure of the draft Examination Timetable as it stands (subject to any representations received about it). What the circumstances do affect is the publication of the RRs and therefore the ability for TfL to begin preparing its responses to them within its desired timeframe.