Morpeth Northern Bypass

The list below includes a record of advice we have provided for this project. For a list of all advice issued by the Planning Inspectorate, including non-project related advice, please go to the Register of advice page.

There is a statutory duty, under section 51 of the Planning Act 2008, to record the advice that is given in relation to an application or a potential application, including the name of the person who requested the advice, and to make this publicly available.

Enquiry received via email
Northumberland County Council apologised that their response to the Examining Authority?s second round of written questions would not be submitted before the deadline set. They explained that they still expect to respond to the questions as soon as possible.
The Planning Inspectorate advised that the Examining Authority would consider whether or not to accept any late submission when it is received. The likelihood that a late submission can be accepted is greatest if submitted promptly.

09 May 2014
Northumberland County Council - Bircham Dyson Bell LLP
Enquiry received via post
response has attachments
Advice was given by the Planning Inspectorate under S51 to assist the applicant in preparing for the examination of the application.
The advice was contained in a letter, which is attached.

11 November 2013
Northumberland CC - Gary Mills
Enquiry received via email
Are we required to send S42 consultation to all of the consultees identified in the Scoping Opinion, even those that gave a negative response?
When a scoping request has been received, the Secretary of State is required to provide the developer with a list of the notified consultation bodies, and any regulation 9(1)(c) persons. Details of any non-prescribed consultation bodies will also be provided, if appropriate. The list you have received will have been compiled in relation to the Secretary of State?s duty to notify the consultation bodies in accordance with regulation 9(1)(a) of the EIA Regulations. You, as the developer may use this list to inform your pre-application consultation but you should not rely on this when carrying out your own s.42 consultation exercise.

The developer of a proposed NSIP, when meeting their statutory pre-application consultation obligations under s.42 of the 2008 Act must make diligent inquiries, carrying out their own investigations and taking their own legal advice, as appropriate. It is the responsibility of the developer to ensure that their pre-application consultation fully accords with the requirements of the 2008 Act, and associated regulations and guidance.

You may wish to be mindful that before accepting an application for development consent the Secretary of State must conclude that the developer has complied with chapter 2 of part 5 of the 2008 Act (pre-application procedure). If developers identify and consult fewer consultees (as part of their s.42 obligations) than the Secretary of State notifies under regulation 9 of the EIA Regulations and/or consults in relation to the scoping opinion request, a clear explanation should be provided within the developer?s consultation report. This will assist the Secretary of State in reaching a conclusion about whether or not the developer has complied with chapter 2 of part 5 of the 2008 Act.

30 October 2012
Northumberland County Council - Gary Mills
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
Request for information about a template for a statutory instrument
Further to your request for information about a template for a statutory instrument, please see the link to the circular on the SI template: [attachment 1]. As you will see the SI template itself is password protected and I believe accessible only to public bodies - so you may have access to this. The SI practice document is available at:

Should the DCO be approved it will then be passed to colleagues within the Planning Inspectorate to reproduce it in the SI template, so any formatting errors will be corrected. I believe it is up to the relevant department (DfT, DECC, DCLG) to check the formatting. During previous discussions with TSO, they had suggested that the applicants could simply refer to the statutory instruments available on the OPSI website for examples of the SI format.

Therefore I think that you need only to ensure the DCO is in the correct format (perhaps using the Rookery DCO or a statutory instrument on OPSI as example, if you unable to access the SI template).

17 September 2012
Ian Selby
Enquiry received via phone
Query on the content of Preliminary Environmental Information
Legal definition and guidance on PEI
The EIA Regulations define PEI as "information referred to in Part 1 of Schedule 4", and as information which:
a) has been compiled by the applicant, and
b) is reasonably required to assess the environmental effects of the development (and of any associated development)"
(EIA Regulations, paragraph 2(1))
The applicant?s attention is drawn to the CLG document: "Planning Act 2008: Guidance on pre-application consultation (September 2009)" (CLG Guidance) which provides advice on the timing and legislative requirements for PEI.
PEI - s.42 and s.47 consultation
Consultation under s.47 of the Planning Act, which must be carried out in accordance with the proposals set out in the SoCC, should include consultation on the PEI in order for the local community to be consulted on this.
Although there is nothing laid down in the Planning Act or relevant Regulations that requires PEI to be provided at the s.42 consultation stage, given that the applicant will provide an ES with their application for EIA development, it would be sensible for them to consult with statutory consultees on PEI.
In preparing PEI, the applicant should apply best practice, giving consideration to the most appropriate form and detail of information based on the target audience, and in order to facilitate effective consultation to inform the EIA and the design of scheme.
PEI ? Level of detail
The level of information provided as PEI may vary depending on the target audience. Paragraphs 82 and 83 of the CLG Guidance recognise that detailed, technical information may not always be appropriate for consulting the local community, and advises that applicants prepare a short, summary document which describes 'the key aims and objectives of the proposal, and explains what the potential impacts of the proposals might be. The document should be written in clear, accessible, and non-technical language'. Conversely, technical consultees are likely to require more detailed information on what impacts and risks have been identified, and how they are to be managed, in order to provide constructive technical input to the process.
Consultation on PEI may be iterative and is likely to comprise information which is available and has been compiled by the developer at a given time in the design process. The level of detail that applicants provide in their PEI will therefore vary according to when they carry out their consultation. It should be noted that this information is expressly stated to be 'preliminary', albeit it should include the information referred to in Part 1 of Schedule 4 of the EIA Regulations. Hence, the PEI does not have to be a detailed document, such as a draft of the ES, although it could be for example if this consultation was carried out later during the pre-application stage, and the information was being provided to a relevant statutory consultee.
Use of the 2011 ES as a basis for PEI

It is understood that a detailed planning application for the Morpeth Northern Bypass was submitted to Northumberland County Council in August 2011, although the applicant has since come to the view that the development constitutes a ?Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project? (NSIP) and an application to the Planning Inspectorate is required under Part 3 of the Planning Act.

The applicant has indicated that the ES submitted with a detailed planning application in 2011 is likely to form the basis for the PEI. If formulating PEI on the basis of the 2011 ES, it will be important to make clear to consultees that the information is 'preliminary'. It should be clearly stated that the information is a draft on which the applicant is actively seeking comments, and that opportunities remain for the both the EIA and scheme design to take into consideration the comments received through consultation. Given that some of the information was obtained for the purpose of a previous ES, it would be appropriate for the applicant to identify where new surveys are required to ensure that information is up to date.

Timing of consultation on PEI

It is noted that a request for a scoping opinion under Regulation 8(1) of the EIA Regulations has recently been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. The applicant is advised to consider the timing of other consultation under the Planning Act, in order that the purposes of different consultation exercises remain clear for consultees. Furthermore, the applicant may wish to consider the timing of consultation on PEI to provide the opportunity for the Planning Inspectorate's scoping opinion to inform the preparation of PEI.

10 August 2012
Northumberland County Council - Gary Mills
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Inception meeting between Planning Inspectorate and Promoter
Please see attached final meeting note and presentation for advice given

30 April 2012
Gary Mills