Port Blyth New Biomass Plant

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
Query regarding the withdrawal of a representation
Unfortunately, we are unable to retract any representations once they have been submitted to the Examining authority (ExA) as evidence.
However, if you feel the Relevant Representation you submitted no longer reflects the current views of your organisation, you may write to the ExA submitting an 'additional representation' explaining this. Please be aware that this must be submitted before the Examination period closes on 2 February 2013.
Please note that under rule 10(8) of the Examination Procedure Rules 2010, the acceptance of further submissions is at the discretion of the ExA and if accepted, will not replace your previous submission.
If you no longer wish to be an Interested Party, you can also submit this request in writing to the ExA under s102(1ZA) of the Planning Act 2008. Once you have confirmed this we shall update our records accordingly and you will receive no further information regarding the North Blyth Biomass project from the Planning Inspectorate.

02 January 2013
Port of Blyth - Alan Todd
Enquiry received via post
response has attachments
Request for further regarding Birmingham Midshires status as an Affected Person in regards to the North Blyth Biomass Project.
Further to our telephone conversation earlier today, I am writing to you as an affected person for the North Blyth Biomass Project. Your reference is BLTYH-AP0004.

We have contacted on a number of occasions regarding this project since you have an interest in the land affected by the project.

The plot of land we are referring to is Plot 11 which you can view on this map

[attachment 1]

The description of the plot of land can be found in the Book of Reference on page 11

[attachment 2]

Background information why the developer is seeking powers of compulsory acquisition can be found here.

[attachment 3]

A general overview of the project and further information about it can be found here.

[attachment 4]

The Compulsory acquisition hearing we wrote to you about on the 6 November can be found here

[attachment 5]

And the Rule 8 letter outlining the timetable for the examination can be found here

[attachment 6]

Background material for the application process can be found in our Advice notes 8.1-8.5

[attachment 7]
[attachment 8]
[attachment 9]
[attachment 10]
[attachment 10]

14 November 2012
Birmingham Midshires - Mikaela Meah
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
We have been asked by members of our community when East Bedlington Parish Council and our local County Councillors will be putting forward the concerns of the community to the Planning Inspectorate about the NSIP that is proposed in this parish.

We were told by the parish chairman at a meeting of the Community Liaison Group on 23 October 2012 that East Bedlington Parish Council (in which this NSIP would be located) was NOT a Statutory Consultee and had never been asked by the Planning Inspectorate for their opinion; also that they, the Parish Council, have registered as an interested party and that they would be making a balanced decision when required, if and when they were going to put forward to the Planning Inspectorate any concerns of the community.

I would like some advice from PINs, as county councillors and the parish council are telling us that they will be putting forward concerns to the Planning Inspectorate as and when they are asked to. Could the Planning Inspectorate please give me an indication when this will be as I am unable to find this out from the PINs timetable of hearings and meetings on the website, and the councillors themselves seem unsure about the timetable.

We are asking this as some members of our community don't feel competent or confident enough to stand up and make representations in a public setting for themselves, they are unsure of the process, they don't know how to do it and are not getting any assistance. This is why they would like their concerns to be put forward to the Planning Inspectorate by their elected representatives, but they are unclear as to when and where this meeting will be taking place.

This very small community feel that it is important that when PINs puts forward their recommendations to the Secretary of State, the community are secure in the knowledge that their concerns have been properly addressed.

Northumberland County Council Planning and Environment Committee have mentioned that a forum could be arranged for the local community to air their concerns so that these concerns will be put into the Planning Inspectorates process. Once again we are wondering how these views could possibly be incorporated into your process at this stage.

I am aware that the deadline for asking for an Open Floor Hearing has passed but would an open floor hearing be granted if a consultee or interested party requested one at this late stage.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
A response was given to Mrs Crossland via telephone where numerous points were discussed about the methods of involvement within the planning process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects; mainly the status and statutory duties of a particular local authority, parish council and Interested Parties in respect of the proposal.

Mrs Crossland queried the status of East Bedlington Parish Council. The parish council was identified as a 'statutory party' and subsequently invited to the Preliminary Meeting via a letter sent on 5 July 2012 (please see link): [attachment 1]

As parish councils are not automatically registered as 'Interested Parties' for the life of an application, they, and other parties are prescribed as 'Statutory Parties' and are invited to the Preliminary Meeting only.

Following the Preliminary Meeting, Statutory Parties are invited to register as Interested Parties by contacting the Planning Inspectorate before, or on, the deadline set-out within the timetable sent following the Preliminary Meeting (please see link): [attachment 2]

The Planning Inspectorate received such a request from East Bedlington Parish Council to register as an Interested Party on 1 October 2012. The request was accepted by the Examining Authority. Since this date, the Parish Council has been sent all procedural decisions issued by the Planning Inspectorate in respect of the aforementioned proposal as has the legal status of an Interested Party.

The examination timetable sets out all of the key dates Interested Parties must be aware of. It is for Interested Parties to refer to this document (and any subsequent amendments made to it) throughout the examination stage and to make a conscious effort to ensure that any evidence submitted is done so on or before the deadlines assigned to each particular item. The Planning Inspectorate will not invite the submission of evidence from Interested Parties on an individual basis.

Parish councils are not required to submit Local Impact Reports to the Planning Inspectorate. However, Northumberland County Council were invited to submit a Local Impact Report which has now been published and comments made upon it. Mrs Crossland was advised of the location of the examination timetable on The Planning Inspectorate's website and the key dates set-out within it for Northumberland County Council, the Parish Council and any other Interested Party to be aware of.

In addition to this, Mrs Crossland was notified of the approaching Open-Floor Hearings being held on 5 December 2012 and the protocol for attending and speaking at such an event.

If a decision is made by Northumberland County Council's Planning and Environment Committee to establish a community forum, then representations may be made on behalf of Northumberland County Council acting as the Interested Party. However, the council should ensure that representations made on behalf of the forum are clearly differentiated from the views of the local authority when acting in organisation capacity.

01 November 2012
Carol Crossland
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
Mr and Mrs Crossland requested information regarding the examination of the Port Blyth New Biomass Plant.
Dear Mr and Mrs Crossland,

thank-you for your email dated 12 October - I will answer questions in the order which you have asked them and trust the information will be of use:

1. 'Where are the Northumberland responses to first questions, as asked in the Rule 8 Letter annex D? I cannot find them on NIP website. I can Find Port of Blyth responses etc, but not NCC.'

Northumberland County Council (NCC) is yet to respond to the questions posed by the Examining Inspector in the Rule 8 letter of 15 August 2012. NCC has advised The Planning Inspectorate that it still intends to submit a response. As the deadline for responses has now passed (26 September), it will be at the discretion of the Examining Inspector as to whether a response, if any, from NCC will be taken into account. This is in accordance with Rule 10 (8) of The Infrastructure Planning (Examination Procedure) Rules 2010 (the Examination Rules 2010) - a link to the Statutory Instrument is provided for your perusal below:

[attachment 1]

If a response from NCC is received and accepted by the Examining Inspector, it will be published on The Planning Inspectorate's website as soon as reasonably practicable and in accordance with Rule 10(5) of the Examination Rules 2010.

2. Who calls for an open floor hearing, or a specific issue hearing? Pins, any interested party? After repeatedly being told at all of the meetings so far attended, that this is not the time to discuss the merits of the proposal, we (looking at the inspection timetable) are puzzled as to when anyone can actually comment on the merits or otherwise of the project, in public.

Hopefully I can clarify this for you:

Open-floor hearings: These can be requested by anyone who has registered and made a relevant representation or by other interested parties . However, requests must be made by the deadline which is set by the Examining Inspector for an hearing to be caused. If not, then it is at the examining inspector's discretion.

In this instance, the Rule 8 letter 'notice of procedural decision made at and following the Preliminary Meeting' sent to all interested parties dated 15 August 2012 and the Rule 8(3) letter 'variation to the examination timetable' which amended the original Rule 8 letter, sent on 21 September 2012, set a deadline of 26 September 2012 for requests for an Open-floor Hearing (see item 4 in the timetable, Annex 1). We have not received any requests. If you do wish to request an Open-floor Hearing you should advise us as soon as possible and we will advise the Examining Inspector for his consideration.

Specific-issue hearings: These hearings are held only if the Examining Inspector considers they are necessary to ensure adequate examination of an issue or that an interested party has a fair chance to put forward their case. At an issue specific hearing, any interested party can make representations about the issue being considered.

Links to the letters issued can be found below:

Rule 8 letter of 15 August 2012: [attachment 2] ;and

Rule 8(3) letter of 21 September 2012: [attachment 3]

3. Our submitted questions at the preliminary meeting, and included in our written representation, when will they be responded to (if at all) by the applicant? Or will these be included in the second written questions asked by the examiner?

The deadline for receipt by the Examining Inspector of, amongst other things, comments on Written Representations is 24 October 2012. It will be for the applicant to consider whether it wishes to respond and any responses received will be published on The Planning Inspectorate's website as soon as reasonably practicable following the deadline.

I hope this answers your queries; I have attached a link to our Advice Note 8.5: 'Participating in the examination' which I hope proves useful.

[attachment 4]

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with us

12 October 2012
Mr and Mrs Crossland
Enquiry received via phone
What can I do to become involved in the application process for the Port Blyth New Biomass application process
Due to the relevant representation?s process being closed there is no provision for you to become an interested party for the Port Blyth New Biomass project under the 2008 Planning Act (as amended). You can still raise your concerns to the Examination Authority by writing in to the Planning Inspectorate but it would be up to the Examination Authority?s discretion whether to have regards to your submission. You can also attend any of the hearings regarding this project since they are open to the public.

28 September 2012
James Flint
Enquiry received via email
Mr Godfrey requested information in relation to Natural England's status as an Interested Party and whether or not, NE had been succesfull in registering. Reference was also given to the Environment Agency and information given by the Examining Authority at the Preliminary Meeting in respect of the Blyth Biomass Power Station.
Dear Colin,

many thanks for your email dated 3 August with regard to the submitted relevant representation on behalf of Natural England. I can confirm that Natural England is registered as an Interested Party (IP) for the North Blyth Biomass Power Station application.

The Environment Agency did not submit a representation on the prescribed form as referenced to at regulation 4 (1) of The Infrastructure Planning (Interested Parties) Regulations 2010 and is therefore not considered as an IP until The Planning Inspectorate receives confirmation from the Environment Agency of its wish to become an IP in response to the next procedural decision issued under Rule 8 of The Infrastructure Planning (Examination Procedure) Rules 2010.

I trust this has been proven useful to you and I apologise for any confusion.

06 August 2012
Natural England - Colin Godfrey
Enquiry received via phone
Is there any way our organisation can register to become an interested party after the relevant representations period has closed?
Due to the registration period to become an interested party for the North Blyth Biomass plant closing, it is not possible for your organisation to register as an interested party. If you want to make your views known to the Planning Inspectorate, you can send us your representation and it will be at the discretion of the examination authority discretion whether to consider the representation.

12 June 2012
Biofuelwatch - Emilia Hanna
Enquiry received via email
The digital corruption of Chaper 7 Air Quality in the Environmental Statement.
Further to the email below and your email of Friday 18 May regarding the digital corruption of Chapter 7 Air Quality in the ES, I confirm my advice on the phone:

Once an Examining Authority has been appointed, it would be helpful if you could collect together all identified errors and submit this for the Examining Authority's attention. The Examining Authority can then consider the matter at the Preliminary Meeting and make a procedural decision within it's letter under Rule 8 of the Examination Procedure rules.

21 May 2012
RES UK and Ireland - Chris Lawson
Enquiry received via phone
A submission by the Civil Aviation Authority dated 23 April 2012 purporting to be a Relevant Representation for the Port Blyth New Biomass Plant was received by the National Infrastructure Directorate - The Planning Inspectorate.
Unfortunately, the information sent to The National Infrastructure Directorate - The Planning Inspectorate on 23 April, purporting to be a relevant representation, was not made on the prescribed form as prescribed by The Infrastructure Planning (Interested Parties) Regulations 2010 as amended by the Consequential Amendments Regulations 2012.

Should you wish to become an interested party and submit your views for consideration by the Examinaing Authority, we would encourage you to register by 11:59pm on 1st June 2012 by submitting a relevant representation to us on the required registration form. This can either be done online via the Planning Inspectorate website via the online registration form or by completing a hard copy registration form if you prefer which may be requested from us by telephoning our helpline on 0303 444 5000.

10 May 2012
The Civil Aviation Authority - Mark Smailes
Enquiry received via email
Advice given about amended plans.
As discussed, we are not treating these as formal submissions but appreciate that it makes sense for you to consider the points raised in the checklist should any appointed persons request changes to the plans for the purposes of examination. Should there be any further technical matters with these plans we may be able to offer further advice under s51 of the Planning Act as amended, and if so I will be in contact I expect within a week.

To confirm, I understand that the plans you are placing on deposit are those which were originally submitted to the then IPC, now Planning Inspectorate

20 April 2012
RES New Ventures - Chris Lawson
Enquiry received via email
IPC provided advice on the preparation of the consultation report.
The consultation report (CR) should make any deadlines set for (e.g.) consultation responses explicit and refer to appendices as appropriate. Applicants should have regard to both IPC and CLG guidance, for example, paragraph 27 of the IPC's Guidance Note 1. Though some level background information can be useful, the report should concentrate primarily on how statutory requirements were met.

22 February 2012
Chris Lawson
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Meeting to discuss the proposed North Blyth Biomass scheme
Please see attached meeting note.

26 January 2012
North Blyth Energy Ltd - Chris Lawson
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
S51 advice on draft DCO
Please see attachment regarding S51 advice given on Draft DCO

29 November 2011
Richard Guyatt
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Meeting to discuss the proposed North Blyth Biomass project
Please see attached meeting note

21 June 2011
Chris Lawson
Enquiry received via phone
Concerns were expressed about the negative local impacts the proposal may present. The enquirer sought advice about who to address their concerns to.
This proposal is at the pre-application stage whereby the applicant undertakes consultation, seeking views and comments from the local community and other statutory bodies. The applicant has a statutory duty to take into account the comments it receives therefore advised the enquirer to contact the applicant detailing their concerns. Additionally advised to contact the relevant local authority because they have a significant role within the process. At a later stage the IPC will invite local authorities to submit a Local Impact Report.
Once the IPC has received the application and (if) it is accepted for examination, there will be further opportunity to submit your comments on the proposal to the IPC.

08 June 2011
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Meeting with RES/North Blyth Energy Limited to discuss the draft DCO
Please see attached meeting note

19 May 2011
Chris Lawson
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
Comments on a draft Development Consent Order submitted for comment in connection with the proposed North Blyth Biomass plant.
1. There would appear to be no reason in law why a DCO should not include requirements formulated in the way you propose [i.e. with the local planning authority as having the duty to discharge requirements] so long as they comply with Section 120 of the Planning Act 2008 (corresponding to conditions which could have been imposed on the grant of any permission etc). Section 38 requires the IPC to have regard to any model provisions but does not make it mandatory for a provision to be drafted in the prescribed form. The Planning Act does not prescribe the way in which requirements should be discharged. It will however be for the examining authority (ExA) if the application is accepted to consider whether the draft DCO should be made in the form submitted, taking into account any representations made by interested parties such as the local planning authority. The local planning authority will need to be satisfied that it has power to make decisions in relation to discharge of requirements.

2. It is arguable that introducing an appeal procedure by way of Article 36 (5) has the effect of applying the provisions of Section 78 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. A DCO may do this in accordance with Section 120 of the Planning Act. You may wish to give some further thought to whether model provision 6 should be used.

3. Article 31appears appropriate. "In accordance with section 149A of the 2008 Act" is probably unnecessary wording.

4. Whether or not a deviation corridor of 50 metres is acceptable is really a question of impacts, mitigation and merits which it will be for the ExA to take a view on if the application is accepted. To assist the ExA to consider any impacts generated by this uncertainty it would help if the Explanatory Memorandum, consultation report or any statements of common ground (if submitted) described the effect of this limit of deviation (with cross reference to the impacts assessed in the ES), identified which requirements would control/mitigate those impacts and made reference to the views of interested parties such as Natural England and MMO on the limits proposed. You may also find helpful our advice note on the Rochdale Envelope [attachment 1]

5. It will be helpful to discuss the works identified in Schedule 1 in more detail at the meeting, for example it is arguable that "resiting" the transit shed is in fact development (whether integral or authorised) which should be part of the authorised development.

6. See paragraph 8 of CLG application form guidance. It is not intended that applicants should be required to duplicate information. It is important however that any environmental information should be found within the environmental statement and not dispersed within other application documents.

11 April 2011
Bond Pearce - Richard Guyatt
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Meeting to discuss IPC consenting process
Meeting note available here: [attachment 1]

31 March 2011
Chris Lawson
Enquiry received via phone
Teleconference where the proposed scheme description was discussed and advice given on the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 was given.
As above.

24 March 2011
Neil Bond
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Meeting to discuss the proposed North Blyth Biomass project
Please see attached meeting note

27 February 2011
Chris Lawson
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Meeting held with RES on 22/12/10 to discuss the proposed North Blyth Biomass plant.
Meeting notes available here: [attachment 1]

22 December 2010
Neil Bond
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Outreach event held in the former Blyth Valley Council Offices
Meeting note available here: [attachment 1]

22 September 2010
RES - David Maunder