Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm

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.

Preview
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Feedback meeting between DONG Energy and the Planning Inspectorate following the Secretary of State?s decisions on the Burbo Bank Extension and the Walney Extension Projects.
Attached

23 March 2015
DONG Energy - Stuart Livesey
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
Query in regards to what arrangements were made to consult with residents of the Wirral concerning the Burbo Bank wind farm extension
The application was submitted on 22 March 2013 and subsequently accepted for examination on 19 April 2013. Following this, there was an opportunity for interested parties to submit relevant representations and the period for registering as an interested party closed on 24 June 2013, to view copies of these please follow the below link;

[attachment 1]

A single examining inspector was appointed as the Examining Authority (ExA) to examine the application and during a six month examination period which began on 26 September 2013, written representations and supporting material were received and made publicly available, an open floor hearing and a number of issue specific hearings were also held during the examination which came to a close on 26 March 2014.

The ExA is currently writing their report to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and as the examination is now closed, the ExA cannot take any further representations into consideration. It should however be noted, any submissions which are received, will be forwarded to DECC at the time the ExA?s recommendation report is submitted.

The Planning Inspectorate?s advice note eight - how to get involved in the planning process explains the process in further detail, including procedures that must be followed by the applicant which can be found at the following link;

[attachment 2] 8-1v4.pdf

This also sets out the consultation an applicant is required to comply with by law and in accordance with the PA 2008 (as amended) and its supporting legislation.

The applicant is also required to include as part of their application, a consultation report which shows how they consulted with the local community during the pre application stage, this can also be found at the following link;

[attachment 3]

23 April 2014
Pete Upton
Enquiry received via email
Query regarding a submission after the close of examination
Submissions received after an examination has closed (during the recommendation stage) are not made available to the Examining authority and will not be taken into account within an Examining authority's report to the Secretary of State. The Planning Inspectorate will, however, hold your letter until the end of the recommendation stage and then send it separately to the relevant Secretary of State, immediately following the submission of the Examining authority's recommendation report. It is then for the Secretary of State to decide whether or not to take your letter, and any further representations you may wish to make on this matter, into consideration

01 April 2014
DONG Energy - Ferdinando Giammichele
Enquiry received via email
Request to remove a draft Statement of Common Ground from our website.
Your comments regarding the status of the draft Statement of Common Ground submitted for deadline III are noted. We have decided not to remove the draft Statement of Common Ground from our website as your letter dated 25 March clearly sets out your views on the status and publication of this document. We also note that each page of the draft Statement of Common Ground is clearly marked 'draft', the front page gives the draft reference number, and it's unsigned and undated. We do not think any person could reasonably come to a view that this document had been concluded or completed, nor that the statements in it represent the final positions of the parties since it clearly only reflects their positions at the time it was submitted.

26 March 2014
RSPB - Mark Williams
Enquiry received via email
The Marine Licensing Team proposes undertaking a shared Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) with the Planning Inspectorate. Subject to agreement, NRW, acting on behalf of the Licensing Authority, proposes to undertake an HRA of the aspects of the project comprising licensable activities for which a Welsh Marine Licence is required. Such assessment would include an in-combination assessment with other relevant plans and projects however would not consider aspects of the development for which a DCO is required. It is proposed that the Planning Inspectorate undertakes the in combination assessment of the aspects of the project for those matters of the development under which a DCO is required.

We consider that this arrangement to be a pragmatic approach which satisfies the requirements of the EIA Directive
I note your proposal that NRW Marine Licensing Team undertakes a shared Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) with the Planning Inspectorate and the proposal that the Planning Inspectorate undertakes the in combination assessment of the aspects of the project for those matters of the development under which a DCO is required.

The relevant Secretary of State determines applications for development consent for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. As the decision maker they are the competent authority for the purposes of the Habitats Regulations, not the Planning Inspectorate. The role of the Examining Authority during the examination is to examine the relevant evidence, including any information requested by them, so that they can subsequently make a recommendation to the Secretary of State who can undertake an appropriate assessment if required. Neither the Planning Inspectorate nor the Examining Authority can undertake an appropriate assessment if one is required.

I understand that NRW, DECC and the Planning Inspectorate have been involved in, in principle, discussions about ways of establishing processes to deal with Habitats Regulations issues where more than one competent authority is involved but that there is yet to be an agreed outcome to this. Should such an approach be proposed it is most likely to be helpful if a process is agreed and established before applications are made for a development consent order or other consents.

24 January 2014
Natural Resources Wales - Delyth Rowlands
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
Submission of a request to become an interested party under s102A of the Planning Act 2008
"I act for various tenants and owners of land affected by the linear power connection route from landfall to the proposed Sub Station and therefore need to be advised of progression of the DCO application"
Thank you for your request to become an interested party for the Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm project on behalf of G Howatson Esq.

For clarification, the Planning Inspectorate is dealing with an application for a Development Consent Order for the offshore element of the proposed project. This would be located west of the operational Burbo Bank offshore wind farm in Liverpool Bay. This is being dealt with as a Nationally significant Infrastructure project (NSIP) as defined in the Planning Act 2008.

The land and development to which you refer in your form is subject to an application to Denbighshire County Council, under the Town and Country planning Act 1990. The reference for this application is 31/2013/0400.

Unfortunately the only method of registering as an interested party for the Burbo Bank Offshore wind Farm project NSIP is to submit a representation during the prescribed period which ended on 24 June 2013. However, if you were to submit a representation about the project during the examination and ask us to accept it, it would be at the Examining inspector's discretion to consider your request.

We are currently in the examination phase of the process where there are a number of public hearings to discuss the application. The timetable for the examination can be found here: [attachment 1]. You are welcome to attend the hearings and it would be at the Inspector's discretion to consider whether you can speak.
For further information about the process and to follow the progress of the NSIP application on the website please use the following link: [attachment 2].

28 November 2013
Williams Rural & Commercial - Richard Williams
Enquiry received via email
DONG Energy is intending to increase the total installed capacity of the offshore wind farm stated in the draft DCO by 1 MW, from 258 MW to 259 MW.

In support of this change, DONG Energy is conducting an audit of the Environmental Statement (ES) to present to the Examining Authority during the examination. This document demonstrates that the increase in MW capacity is a minor change to the Project, as all other parameters will remain the same in the draft DCO and the revised MW capacity still falls within the worst case as assessed in the ES.

Other consents (being the modification application to National Grid and the Agreement for Lease) are being sought and DONG Energy will update the Examining Authority on their progress during the examination.

With the Examining Authority's consent, DONG Energy will make the audit referred to above available on 28 October 2013 (Deadline I).
I refer to your letter of 10 September 2013, providing a progress update in respect of the application, prior to the preliminary meeting.

Amongst the issues raised was a proposal to increase the installed capacity of the project by 1 MW, described in your letter in the following terms:

?Increase in Installed Capacity from 258 to 259 MW
3.5 DONG Energy is intending to increase the total installed capacity of the offshore wind farm stated in the draft DCO by 1 MW, from 258 MW to 259 MW.
3.6 In support of this change, DONG Energy is conducting an audit of the Environmental Statement (ES) to present to the Examining Authority during the examination. This document demonstrates that the increase in MW capacity is a minor change to the Project, as all other parameters will remain the same in the draft DCO and the revised MW capacity still falls within the worst case as assessed in the ES.
3.7 Other consents (being the modification application to National Grid and the Agreement for Lease) are being sought and DONG Energy will update the Examining Authority on their progress during the examination.
3.8 With the Examining Authority's consent, DONG Energy will make the audit referred to above available on 28 October 2013 (Deadline I).?
The Examining authority (ExA) will need to consider whether the change that you propose is a minor change, capable of being considered within the current examination process.

This letter provides you with advice under section 51 of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended) (?s51 advice?) about the information that will be necessary to enable the ExA to undertake that consideration.

Whilst the audit approach that you outline in paragraph 3.6 of your letter appears in general terms to be an appropriate course of action, its precise purpose and the detail of its operation remain unclear.

Irrespective of whether or not this is considered to be a minor change to the project, you are requested to commence by setting out a clear statement of what is proposed to change.

Paragraph 3.6 of your letter does not explain how the audit process will then demonstrate how the change might affect the assessment already undertaken or how the conclusions reached with regard to the impacts of the proposed change to the scheme will be explained.

In order to address these matters, it would assist the ExA for a table to be prepared, setting out the likely significant impacts already identified in the ES and to assess against each impact whether or not the proposed change alters the original assessment and provides a description to justify the conclusions reached. A rigorous review will help to demonstrate that your assessment is robust.

It will also be necessary for you to consider and identify whether any new (un-assessed) impacts would arise from the proposed change.

You are requested to assess whether the proposed increase of 1MW affects the 'worst case' parameters that have been identified and assessed for each EIA topic considered in the ES, not only in terms of potential impacts on the number of turbines, but also inter-array and export cables, substations and all other significant elements of project construction. Your revised assessment will also need to assess whether or not the proposed change to the total installed capacity has any implications for any development within Welsh Waters (export cable) and the onshore development in Wales, which would be considered in the EIA under cumulative impacts. The effect on any proposed mitigation identified in the ES will also need to be considered.

You do not expressly refer to the need to reconsider the Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) report provided with the application. It will be equally relevant and important for you to address the HRA as well as the ES. It would therefore assist the ExA if you were to consider the impact of the proposed change on the parameters assessed in the HRA and the outcome of the conclusions reached in relation to the European sites assessed and any mitigation proposed for those sites.

The timing for the receipt of your review of the ES and HRA Report has been added to the agenda for the Preliminary Meeting. The ExA will hear submissions from you and invited attendees, before making a decision about the date, which will be confirmed in the examination timetable. However, unless there are well argued reasons why draft timetable Deadline I should not be adopted as the submission date, it would appear reasonable for you to plan to submit on that date. Please note that this advice is without prejudice to the exercise of discretion by the ExA.

17 September 2013
Ferdinando Giammichele
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
I am not sure if I have ticked the correct box above. I live extremely close to the cable route and substation.
I have right of access for our septic tank and soakaway (plot 85) and health concerns re the other plots listed - objections raised
My purpose in completing this form is to ensure I am recorded as an interested party with regards to this application. Dong Energy did NOT include us in correspondence earlier in project and although I/we are now aware of the project, I am not sure if I am registered and if not would like to register as an interested party now if not already done through our recent communications with the Project team
Could you perhaps also confirm to me if any of my neighbours are registered as interested parties, as we have all now spoken and met with Dong representatives but because Dong failed to include us initially, I am concerned we may miss out on important updates. My neighbours are Mrs N Brookes, Mrs P Foster, same postal code. Thankyou
Thank you for your request to become an interested party For the Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm project and your time on the phone yesterday.

For clarification, and as discussed, the Planning Inspectorate is dealing an application for a Development Consent Order for the offshore element of the proposed project. This would be located west of the operational Burbo Bank offshore wind farm in Liverpool Bay. This is being dealt with as a Nationally significant Infrastructure project (NSIP) as defined in the Planning Act 2008.

The land and development to which you refer in your form is subject to an application to Denbighshire County Council, under the Town and Country planning Act 1990. The reference for this application is 31/2013/0400.

Unfortunately the only method of registering as an interested party for the Burbo Bank Offshore wind Farm project NSIP is to submit a representation during the prescribed period which ended on 24 June 2013. However, if you were to submit a representation about the project during the examination and ask us to accept it, it would be at the Examining inspector's discretion to consider your request.

In addition there is likely to be a series of public local hearings to discuss the application, where you are welcome to attend and again it would be at the Inspector's discretion to consider whether you can speak.

For further information about the process and to follow the progress of the NSIP application on the website please use the following link:

[attachment 1]

I hope that answers your questions, but if you need any further clarification please feel free to contact the case team, using the helpline number or email address below.

21 August 2013
Linda Griffiths
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
Further to reports in the local press today, please could we have some detail on how constituents of Esther McVey MP in Wirral West might make representations on plans concerning the proposed extension to the Burbo Bank wind farm. We would be grateful for any relevant documentation to pass on to residents if approached.
As you may be aware, the Planning Inspectorate has recently accepted the application by DONG Energy Burbo Extension (UK) Ltd for the proposed Burbo Bank Extension to proceed to examined. Regular updates and key milestones will be added to the project webpage on the National Infrastructure pages of the Planning Portal?s website; which also outlines when and how people will be able register to take part in the examination:

[attachment 1]

The application is currently at the ?pre-examination? stage of the process for determining applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects under the Planning Act 2008 (as amended). During this stage the developer will formally notify people of the accepted application and publish details of the ?relevant representation? period ? a minimum period of 28 days within which anyone can register to become an ?interested party? and be involved in the examination (i.e. to make written representations to timetabled deadlines, and/or oral representations at any hearings). People will be able to register electronically via the project webpage, or by requesting a hard copy relevant representation form from the Planning Inspectorate by phone, email or letter.

For a more detailed description of the process for examining applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects and how to get involved, I attach the Planning Inspectorate?s advice note series 8.

If you or any of Ms. McVey?s constituents require clarification on any of the material attached, please do not hesitate to contact us again by phone, via the project inbox at [email protected] or by letter.

29 April 2013
Office of Esther McVey MP - Andrew Rimmer
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Please see the attached

29 April 2013
Ferdinando Giammichele
Enquiry received via email
s51 advice following issue of the acceptance decision.
As discussed this afternoon following the acceptance of the Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Wind Farm application we would like you to meet with you as soon as is practicable, we discussed the possibility of the 29 or 30 April, to discuss the Environmental Statement (ES) and the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) report.

Whilst the ES and the HRA report are considered to be adequate for the purposes of acceptance, our s.55 acceptance checklist (published on the project page of our website today) notes that the description of the project as defined in the ES and HRA report does not clearly distinguish between the environmental effects of development arising from this Development Consent Order (DCO) application alone and the effects of the broader project of which this DCO application forms part. We also note that the scope of matters considered in the ES and HRA report differ.

Amongst other matters, this raises potential questions about how effects of the DCO application alone and those arising cumulatively with the related connection infrastructure in Wales/Welsh waters and with other unrelated projects have been distinguished in the ES, and where mitigation has been identified as required, whether this needs to be secured through the requirements of the DCO or through separate consents or licences.

We advise that it would be highly desirable for you to address this matter prior to the start of the examination. This could help ensure that you are ready for examination by enabling you to clarify and resolve any potential issues in relation to the presentation of effects of the DCO application and proposed mitigation, including if necessary discussing this with the relevant statutory nature conservation bodies and other consultees, before the examination commences.

To this end, we would encourage you to meet with us ASAP so that we can provide s51 advice about the steps that you may now wish to take, and how this interacts with your s56 notice.

I would be grateful if you can confirm your availability to meet with me and my environmental service team colleagues in Bristol ASAP.

Please note the content of this email constitutes advice under s.51 of the PA 2008, and so will be published on the planning portal website.

19 April 2013
Ferdinando Giammichele
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
I understand the results of a ?consultation? process will be submitted to you on behalf of the Burbo Bank Extension Offshore Windfarm by the end of this year.

I wonder if you could inform me of the current status of this project?

Has the basic concept of increasing the size of the Windfarm off the Wirral/Merseyside coast been approved by the Government?

Also is the current consultation process requesting feedback on whether or not the Windfarm should be increased ? Or is it merely how it will be increased?
i) The project is currently in the pre-application stage. At this stage the developer will be completing their statutory consultation duties under sections 42, 47 and 48 of The Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) prior to their submission of the application to The Planning Inspectorate. You refer to the 'results of a consultation process' to be submitted to The Planning Inspectorate by the end of this year. What I suspect you are referring to here is the Consultation Report - an account of pre-application statutory consultation, including a summary of responses to that consultation, and details of how developers have taken account of these responses in shaping their application. The submission of a Consultation Report as part of an application is required by s37 of PA 2008. The application, however, is now expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in March 2013. Once the application has been submitted to The Planning Inspectorate there will be an opportunity for you and other parties to register to have your say on the proposal. For more information on this, please see our Advice note 8; available here: [attachment 1]

ii) While at policy level Government is pursuing offshore renewable energy production as part of a mix of energy provision, any extension to the existing Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm has not been approved. For offshore generating stations which fall within the definitions of section 15 of PA 2008, an application for development consent is required to be made to The Planning Inspectorate. The role of The Planning Inspectorate is to examine, report on and make recommendations to the relevant Secretary of State (SoS) on whether or not development consent should be granted. The relevant SoS is the decision-maker. For more detailed information on the process, please see our suite of advice notes; available here: [attachment 2]

iii) The pre-application consultation process under PA 2008 will be relevant to the application to be submitted; in the context of your question, 'how' the size of the wind farm is proposed to be increased. The role of the pre-application consultation process and the Consultation Report is to inform The Planning Inspectorate's examination of the application. The Planning Inspectorate's examination of the application will not involve the consideration of the merits of offshore renewable energy production as this has already been consulted upon by Government. For national policy relevant to offshore wind farms please see National Policy Statement EN-1 and EN-3; available here: [attachment 3]

14 December 2012
Anthony Aldwinckle
Enquiry received via email
Request for review of DONG Energy HRA Screening and Scoping Report
Description of the project

In section 2.2 of the HRA Screening Report, the description of the project includes the onshore infrastructure connecting to the onshore NGET substation as shown on Figure 1. However, the Planning Inspectorate understands that the development for which a Development Consent Order (DCO) will be sought will only include the offshore wind farm site and the offshore cable route up to the Mean High Water Mark on the Welsh coastline (paragraph 1.3.1 of the Addendum in the Scoping Report). Therefore, it is assumed that the consent for the proposed onshore cable route and substation would be subject to a separate planning application made to Denbighshire County Council as part of the Town and Country Planning Act (?TCPA?) regime, as indicated in the DONG Energy Transboundary Report (January 2012). The description of the project in the HRA Screening Report should clearly distinguish between the elements of the project that would be included within the DCO and any separate development that would be considered in the in-combination assessment.

Project layout assumptions

The HRA Screening Report identifies that at this stage in the development process there are still several elements of the project where the design is not fixed. This includes the proposed layout and size of the turbines, the voltage of the inter-array cabling and the dimensions and location of the offshore substation. It is important that any assumptions in relation to the project design used to inform the assessment of whether there is a likely significant effect, i.e. the realistic worst case scenario, are clearly identified and explained.

The study area

The HRA Screening Report identifies the study area as "the perimeter of the project site, or the cable route corridor, plus one tidal excursion". However, it is unclear what the size of this geographical area is and on what basis this study area was defined. It is also unclear whether this has been agreed with the statutory nature conservation bodies (SNCBs).

The HRA Screening Report also refers to the study area as being identified in Figure 4. However, this information is not shown. It would be helpful if the extent of the study area could be clearly marked on a plan at a sufficient scale, so that project features can be readily identified.

The Scope of the HRA

The HRA Screening Report identifies which European sites have been considered in the screening assessment. It must be clear what criteria have been used to select these sites and whether the scope has been agreed with the SNCBs. Figure 5 is noted as showing the locations of some of the sites included within the assessment in relation to the proposals. All of the sites considered within the assessment, and their designations, should be clearly shown on a map along with the location of the proposals.

Baseline data and Methodology

All baseline data sources must be clearly identified and explained. The methodology used to undertake the baseline data surveys should also be clearly identified. Clarification should be provided as to whether the methodology has been agreed with the SNCBs.

When assessing potential in-combination effects with other plans and projects, where baseline data relating to these other plans and projects has been used in this assessment, the methodology used to undertake these baseline assessments should be clearly identified. Clarification should also be provided as to whether the methodology used in the baseline assessments for the other plans and projects is consistent with the methodology used to undertake the baseline assessments for the proposed Burbo Bank extension. Where the methodologies differ, an explanation should be provided to explain the different approaches to the collection of the baseline information.

Site with multiple designations

Where sites have been considered in the HRA assessment, which have multiple designations, it should be made clear whether all of the designations for each site have been considered and the outcome of each assessment. For example, several of the SPA sites identified in Table 9 (species present during site surveys and potential for likely significant effect) are also designated as a Ramsar site, however, only the Ribble and Alt Estuary Ramsar site has been expressly identified in the table. While there may be some overlapping of the interest features relevant to each designation applied to a site, the assessment should clearly consider the potential impacts and likely effects on every feature of every designation.

Connectivity with non-UK European Sites

Where migratory species have been considered in the HRA assessment, it should be made clear whether there is likely to be a significant effect on non-UK European sites associated with those species. Justification should be provided by the developer to support the conclusion reached. As part of the HRA screening process the Planning Inspectorate would also expect to see evidence of consultation with the SNCBs regarding this issue.

In-combination assessment

Paragraph 5 of the HRA Screening Report interprets the scope of ?other plans and projects? as including the three identified categories. The Planning Inspectorate advises that, unless there are good reasons to the contrary, ?other plans or projects? which have not yet been submitted to a competent authority for consideration, but that are proposed or could be reasonably anticipated to happen should also be included within the scope of the ?in-combination test?.

In addition, whilst the types of development to be considered in the in-combination assessment are set out in paragraph 5, it is unclear what criteria has been used to determine if these plans and projects are relevant, and whether this criteria has been agreed in consultation with the relevant SNCBs and the local planning authority. Clarification should also be provided on the criteria used to identify the named plans and projects presented in paragraph 5.1. It is unclear what approach has been used to identify these as relevant for the assessment. It is also unclear whether the identified plans and projects have been agreed in consultation with the relevant SNCBs and the local planning authority. Where projects and plans, if any, have been discounted / scoped out of the in-combination assessment, the reasons for this should be identified.

As previously stated, if the onshore cable route and substation development will not form part of the DCO application, it should be considered in the in-combination assessment for the project. However, at present this onshore development is not included in the list of projects identified in paragraph 5.1.

Figure 4 seeks to identify plans and projects that may act in-combination with the Project. However, each plan and project should be clearly identified and named on the Figure.

Overview of the HRA Process

If after submission of the DCO application the project is accepted for examination, the Examining authority (ExA) will need to ensure that during the examination a process is adopted to ensure that sufficient information is provided to enable the Secretary of State to have confidence in meeting his/her statutory duties as the Competent Authority (CA) under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended) (Habitats Regulations) and the Offshore Marine Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations 2007 (as amended) (Marine Regulations).

To ensure that sufficient information is provided to enable the Secretary of State to have confidence in meeting his/her statutory duties as the CA under the Regulations set out above, the process that has been identified is that the ExA would submit its ?framework? assessment for the Secretary of State to consider, based on information provided within the DCO application and supporting documents and gathered through the examination process. The duty to carry out appropriate assessment however remains with the Secretary of State as the CA.

The ExA is likely to ask the developer to provide a review of all relevant habitats information and source documentation submitted with the application (a ?screening matrix?), if this has not been provided as part of the application documents. The ExA may also ask the developer to update the screening matrix and report on any matters arising after the submission of the DCO application. Opportunities would be given during the examination for SNCBs and the public (through the opportunity to become Interested Parties to the examination) to comment on the content and conclusions of the screening matrix.

No likely significant effects report

The Planning Inspectorate is aware that one purpose of the HRA Screening Report is to facilitate engagement with the SNCBs regarding the scope of the HRA assessment and therefore at this stage, the conclusions reached in the HRA Screening Report have not been commented on or agreed by the SNCBs.

If it is determined by the developer that the proposed development will not have a likely significant effect on any of the European sites considered, either alone or in combination with other plans or projects, then the Planning Inspectorate would expect a 'No Likely Significant Effects Report? to be submitted with the DCO application. The report should include sufficient information to allow the Secretary of State as the CA to make its own determination on likely significant effects, and be satisfied there is no significant residual effect from the proposed development. It must be made clear that the developer has reached the view that there are no significant effects. The developer should provide reasons why it is considered that an appropriate assessment will not be required for these European sites and provide evidence of confirmation from the SNCBs that this conclusion is supported.

Framework Appropriate Assessment (AA)

It is also noted that the HRA Screening Report has concluded that at this stage in the HRA process, a likely significant effect as a result of the project cannot be excluded in relation to the seven European sites identified in Table 10. Therefore, if it is determined that an AA is required in respect of these seven sites, DONG Energy must provide ?sufficient information? with the DCO application to enable the CA to undertake the AA . The Planning Inspectorate's Advice Note 10: ?Habitat Regulations Assessment? , strongly advises a developer to shadow the HRA process at the pre-application stage so that the necessary information can be provided with the DCO application. This information may be provided in an AA Report submitted with the DCO application.

Following on from Table 10, the report should show clearly which European sites are taken forward for AA and which features could be subject to significant effects. The report should lay out what impacts have been considered and the sources of those impacts. The report should assess every feature that has been taken forward for AA and quantify all relevant impacts, at all applicable phases of the development. Clear conclusions as to whether or not impacts could result in an effect on the integrity of the European site should be made. Such a report should include details of the discussions with the SNCBs, for example a record of the dates, meeting notes and the conclusions of any discussions and identify whether an agreement has been reached between the developer and the SNCBs on the outcome of the AA.

It should be noted that during the 28 day acceptance procedure, only the information submitted with the DCO application is considered and the Planning Inspectorate is not able to request further information at the acceptance stage to supplement or clarify information provided in an applicant?s HRA report.

Justification of conclusions reached

As a general comment, where conclusions have been reached in the No Likely Significant Effects and/or the shadow AA Report, these should be clearly justified by reference to any material relied upon, for example baseline data or academic reports, with any evidence that the SNCBs support the conclusion reached. This evidence may include copies of letters or meeting notes. Where reference is made to consulting any consultees, including the SNCBs, the report should be clear as to whether agreement has been reached with these consultees. Where issues are outstanding and have not been agreed with the SNCBs this should be clearly identified in the report.

Cross-reference to other documents

With regard to the surveys undertaken, cross-reference is made to the Burbo Bank Extension Ornithology report (DONG Energy, 2012). Where cross-reference is made to another document it would be helpful to be provided with the paragraph / page reference to which the reader is directed. Where appropriate, it may be helpful to append documents which are referred to in the report.

31 May 2012
DONG Energy - Stuart Livesey
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Progress to date on the Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm scheme.
See attachment

29 February 2012
DONG Energy - Ferdinando Giammichele
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Meeting to discuss the proposed Burbo Bank Extension offshore wind farm scheme
See attached meeting note and presentation

06 October 2011
Ferdinando Giammichele
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Meeting with Dong Energy to provide a project update
Please follow the link to see a note of the meeting - [attachment 1]

25 January 2011
Dong Energy - anon.
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Meeting between promoter, relevant local authorities and Marine Management Organisation
Please see link for meeting notes and presentations - [attachment 1]

02 November 2010
DONG Energy Local Authorities
Enquiry received via email
From the DCLG Guidance on associated development it seems that on shore works cannot be integral to the NSIP and should, therefore, be omitted from any DCO if the works are located in Wales.

In the case of the underwater connection cables there is no mention of these under "off shore renewable energy installations" in Annex A to the Guidance and arguably, if it was intended that they should be treated as associated development they would have been specifically mentioned. The reference to grid-connections-electricity would not seem to include underwater connection cables as it appears to relate to generic utility connections from an on shore NSIP.

Furthermore, not all of the export cable would fall within Welsh waters and to describe that part of it in English waters as associated development consentable by the DCO and that part of it in Welsh waters as needed to be separately consented by means of a Marine Licence would appear to create unnecessary and artificial complications, particularly in then having to ask the IPC to consent only part of the cable by means of the DCO. I also find it difficult to believe that the IPC would be prepared to consent an off shore renewable energy project in isolation without including within the DCO the entire connection to shore.
The approach you are proposing to advise your client to take does not seem to me to be an unreasonable one. As you may be aware we are not though able to give legal advice upon which applicants (and others) can rely, and a decision as to whether or not to accept a DCO application under s.55 of the 2008 Act would rest with the relevant Commissioner at that time.

The fact that "off shore renewable energy installations" are not specifically mentioned in Annex A to the Guidance does not necessarily mean that these are not capable of being treated as associated development. The examples given in the Guidance are not an exhaustive list of all categories of possible associated development.

Applicants may submit draft DCOs, including suggested draft requirements, to the Commission prior to making their formal submission and when so doing they may also provide legal submissions making reference to relevant case law to demonstrate that the draft provisions and requirements being proposed may be lawfully imposed.

This advice is without prejudice to any determination the Commission may make in accordance with s.55 of the 2008 Act.

19 October 2010
Bond Pearce LLP - John Houghton
Enquiry received via email
Whether an onshore grid connection and export cables from an offshore wind farm proposed to be located in Wales can be described as intergral to the project and therefore can be included in the DCO or whether it is 'associated development' (as defined under s.115 of the Planning Act 2008) and therefore where the criteria for associated development is not met cannot be included in the DCO application.
It is for applicants to consider, in drafting their DCO, whether a particular element of a proposed NSIP development should properly be described as being integral to the NSIP. It seems to us that whether a particular element is integral or not would at least in part depend on whether it was an essential part of or intrinsic to the NSIP which also has implications for EIA scoping consultation. You may also be aware that in order to comply with Regulation 8(3) of the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2009 it is necessary to provide a plan sufficient to identify the land and a brief description of the nature and purpose of the development and of its possible effects on the environment.

Annex A to the CLG Guidance on Associated Development gives on-shore works, such as sub-stations, as an example of associated development in relation to offshore renewable energy installations. Although such examples in the Guidance are illustrative only this gives weight to the argument that such on-shore works cannot be construed as being integral to the NSIP. In view of this CLG Guidance, to which the Commission must have regard, it is certainly arguable that, on balance, such on-shore works cannot be regarded as being integral to the NSIP.

If a third party wished to challenge a decision by the Commission to accept an application for a DCO which included such on-shore works then there may be grounds for challenge under s.118 of the 2008 Act in the light of this CLG Guidance. This is clearly a risk that you will wish to consider if such on-shore works were to be included in the draft DCO.

This CLG Guidance does not though specifically address the question of whether underwater connection cables from the off-shore array to the shore should be treated as associated development. We note that in the generic list of associated development in Annex A of the CLG Guidance 'grid connections -electricity...' are included, although it is arguable that this may only relate to on-shore connections from an 'NSIP-specific substation' to a National Grid substation. In any event, as noted above, the examples given in the Guidance are illustrative only and are not an exhaustive list of all categories of possible associated development. Clearly, this is a further matter that you will wish to consider in relation to your client's proposed scoping opinion request and in drafting the DCO.

In this regard you may wish to look at our previous s.51 advice, dated 3rd June 2010, in relation to the proposed Brig y Cwm energy from waste facility.

08 October 2010
Bond Pearce LLP - John Houghton
Enquiry received via email
1) Is the IPC expecting DONG to consult (S42 + 47) with the non-prescribed consultees too?

2) Some of the local authorities consulted in the scoping exercise are a significant distance from the project site/cable route options. Would you expect to engage with them to the same extent we will engage with host local authorities?

3) Does IPC expect promoters to publish their consultation report well before (e.g. 1 ½ - 2 yrs) or shortly before (e.g. ½ - 1 year) the submission of the Environmental Statement for the DCO application?
1) When deciding whether or not to accept an application, the Commission must be satisfied that the applicant has complied with the pre-application consultation and publicity procedures set out in Chapter 2 of Part 5 of the 2008 Act. This includes the applicant's consultation obligations under sections 42 and 47. With regards to s.47, please note that this relates to consultation of the local community (not the statutory consultees specified in s.42). The s.47 consultation programme and methods are for the applicant to determine, although you should have regards to the Guidance referred to below in relation to this.

In reaching its decision whether or not to accept an application the Commission must (amongst other matters) have regard to the extent to which the applicant has had regard to CLG's Guidance on pre-application consultation and IPC Guidance note 1 on pre-application stages.

CLG's Guidance on pre-application consultation at paragraph 66 states that "for each sector there are a range of bodies in addition to those specified as statutory consultees that may also possess important information, and who may therefore be able to make an important contribution. Promoters are therefore encouraged to consult widely on proposals."

IPC Guidance Note 1 on pre-application stages states at para. 21 that "If applicants identify and consult fewer consultation bodies (as part of their s42 obligations) than the IPC consults in relation to a scoping opinion request a clear explanation should be provided when the application is submitted. This will assist the IPC to reach a conclusion about whether or not to accept the application" Paragraph 22 goes on to advise "The consultation report will enable applicants to flag and explain any differences between the IPC?s consultation under the EIA Regulations13 and their own s.42 consultation".

2)As noted above, the s.47 consultation programme and methods are for the applicant to determine having regard to relevant Guidance in relation to this. The local authorities consulted under s.42 on a statutory basis are defined by s.43 of the Act. In essence, the Act requires that applicants consult all authorities whose land the proposed development would fall within ('B' authorities), and all those (both County and District) sharing a border with them ('A' authorities). Please note that the identification of 'A' and 'B' authorities set out in s.43 of the Act is not restricted by their distance from the proposed development.



Applicants are required to consult 'relevant' Parish Councils as part of their s.42 consultation (see Schedule 1 of the Applications: Prescribed Forms and Regulations 2009). The Commission has decided to apply the 'A' and 'B' test as set out in s.43 of the Act to the identification of relevant parish councils for the purposes of EIA scoping consultation (see IPC Advice Note 3). There may be implications if an applicant consults fewer consultation bodies (as part of their s.42 obligations) than the Commission consults in relation to the scoping opinion request, unless reasonable justification is given. Applicants should have regard to the Commission?s guidance and advice in relation to this. You should fully detail your s.42 and s.47 consultation and s.48 publicity activities, any relevant responses received and the account taken of these in the consultation report. We would also refer you to the applicants duty to take account of responses to consultation and publicity under s.49 of the Act.

3) The consultation report must be submitted, together with other prescribed documents and any ES , with your application for development consent. The consultation report is a material consideration in the Commission's decision as to whether or not to accept an application (under s.55 of the Act). The Commission encourages Applicants to submit draft copies of the DCO and ES at least 6 weeks ahead of the proposed formal submission of the application for review by the Commission. Please note that the Commission is not able to comment on the merits of an application or proposed application.

16 July 2010
DONG Energy - Ferdinando Giammichele
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Meeting to discuss progress of Humber Renewables Biomass scheme
[attachment 1]

16 June 2010
DONG - Ferdinando Giammichele