Heysham to M6 Link Road

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 email
Enquiry and question rgerading Rule 4 and Rule 6 Letters issued in March 2012.
The application for the M6-Heysham Link Road is being dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate under the Planning Act 2008 and not the Highways Act 1980. Therefore the parts of the Highways Act to which you refer are not relevant.

However, Interested Parties were encouraged to put forward alternatives through the identification of initial principal issues under Section 88 of the Act in March prior to the Preliminary Meeting and Interested Parties did put forward alternatives during the process, for example the Lancaster Bypass Link. You will be aware that a hearing was held on alternative options and alignments during July, in accordance with the timetable published under Rule 8 in April.

13 September 2012
Mark Sullivan
Enquiry received via email
E-mail from Prof. Whitelegg regarding the Issue Specific Hearings
"Further to your emails in respect of the above, I can confirm that the issue specific hearings will be conducted as inquisitorial round table sessions with the Examining Inspector conducting the questioning of all parties. This is the same procedure used at development plan examinations and informal planning hearings.

It is the Inspector's intention to issue an agenda for sessions later this week and these will be published as soon as possible."

02 July 2012
John Whitelegg
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
If possible wishes to be sent a transcript of the preliminary meeting that may have been made.
The Planning Inspectorate does not make a written transcript of its meetings. A meeting note of the Preliminary Meeting was placed on our website, which may assist you. Although this is not a verbatim note, it records the key matters that were discussed:

[attachment 1]

28 May 2012
Mark Sullivan
Enquiry received via phone
Mr David Gate, preparing his written representation, which will refer to evidence of traffic counts, wishes to submit this evidence after the deadline of the 8th as it may not be ready in time.
We explained that the 8th deadline is fixed, and that if anything is submitted after this date it is the Examining Authority's decision whether to accept it or not, adding that in previous examinations some late submissions had been returned.

03 May 2012
David Gate
Enquiry received via phone
Call from Mrs Kenworthy wishing to discuss a matter with the Rule 8 letter
Telephone call advising if Mrs Kenworthy wanted to request an open floor hearing we would have to hold one and that she could raise her issue there. Also advised that the examination process is based on written reps.

30 April 2012
SJ Kenworthy
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
At the IPC Outreach event held in Lancaster, a stakeholder asked whether the Commission would test for 'value for money' with regard to the Heysham to M6 Link Road application.

The IPC's reply was by email.
Thank you for attending our recent Outreach session in Lancaster for the above application, for registering as an interested party and indicating that you would like to appear at the Preliminary Meeting, Open Floor Hearing and Issue Specific Hearing.

At the outreach session you asked whether the Commissioner for Heysham will test for value for money and if so, how? Please accept my apologies for not getting back to you sooner on this query.

Under s88 of the Planning Act 2008 and Rule 5 of the Infrastructure Planning (Examination Procedure) Rules 2010 it is for the Examining Authority to make an initial assessment of the principal issues arising from an application and after making this assessment a Preliminary Meeting must be held. This assessment of principal issues will be included in the forthcoming Rule 6 letter giving notice of the date venue and agenda for the Preliminary Meeting.

The purpose of the Preliminary Meeting is to give people who have registered as interested parties in an application, the opportunity to make representations to the Examining Authority as to how the application should be examined. Everyone who has registered as an Interested Party to the proposal, like yourself, will be invited to attend the Preliminary Meeting chaired by the IPC Commissioner(s) appointed to examine the application. This will be either a single Commissioner or a Panel of three or more Commissioners. The Examining Authority is yet to be appointed for this application.

The Preliminary Meeting will be about the procedure for examining the application, including, setting the timetable for making more detailed written representations. It is not an opportunity to discuss the merits of the application or make your case. The merits will be considered when the examination of the application takes place, through the written representations and the programmed hearings.

Please note that you are not required to attend the Preliminary Meeting in order to participate in the examination. You will still be able to make written representations and participate in any hearings that may be arranged.

Please see a link to IPC Advice Note 8.4 on our website explains how the procedure for examination is discussed at the Preliminary Meeting.

[attachment 1]

Following the Preliminary Meeting, and after considering the views submitted, the Examining Authority will take a decision as to how the application is to be examined. The Commissioner(s) will provide written notes of the meeting to all interested parties. A copy of the decision made about how the application is to be examined will also be sent and will include the deadline for providing more detailed written views to the IPC on the application, details of any hearings - including open floor, issue specific or compulsory acquisition hearings and the deadlines for Interested Parties to provide written representations on the applications and also comments on others? representations.

It is for the Examining Authority to decide on the weight that should be attached to representations received in examining the application. It is important that the representations made relate to the merits of the application. Section 106 of the Planning Act 2008 sets out matters that may be disregarded in relation to representations.

08 March 2012
Tim Hamilton-Cox
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
A member of Campaign to Protect Rural England contacted the IPC via email, asking whether the promoter of the application was required to submit an Economic Impact Report to the IPC as part of the application documents.

The IPC's response was by email.
Thank you for your email enquiry to the Infrastructure Planning Commission on 2 February 2012, in regard to application documents for the Heysham to M6 Link Road application.

An "Economic Impact Report" is not one of the statutory requirements for an application for a Development Consent Order under the Planning Act 2008 or regulations made under it. The IPC?s s.55 checklist detailing the documents required for acceptance is available here:

[attachment 1]

I hope this information has been helpful. Please contact the case team again should you have any further questions.

10 February 2012
CPRE - Andy Yuille
Enquiry received via email
I have an immediate concern with the acceptance of HM6L as a NSIP. I can find nothing in the IPC statement accepting the application that gives the reason(s) why the IPC considers HM6L to be a NSIP, and I find it hard to believe that the purpose of the 2008 Planning Act was for the IPC process to capture local schemes which can scarcely be described as nationally significant infrastructure.

I would therefore be grateful if you can set out to me the reasons why the IPC accepted the HM6L as a NSIP, confirming which section(s) of Clause 22 were material to the decision.
As you are aware, the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) is currently the body that examines applications for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs).

NSIPs are defined in section 14 of the Planning Act 2008, and highway development is defined in section 14(1)(h) and section 22.

Section 22(2)(b) of the Planning Act 2008 clarifies that construction of a highway is an NSIP if the highway will (when constructed) be wholly in England and, the highway is to be constructed for the purposes connected with a highway for which the Secretary of State is (or will be) the highway authority.

The applicant (Lancashire County Council) has explained in paragraph 2.1 of document 3.2 (Explanatory Memorandum) that "the proposed development lies wholly within England and is the construction of a highway for a purpose connected with a highway for which the Secretary of State is the highway authority, the latter highway being the M6 motorway. As a result the proposed development is a nationally significant infrastructure project ("NSIP") for the purposes of sections 14(1)(h) and 22 of the Planning Act 2008 (?the 2008 Act?)".

Furthermore, application document 9.5 (Section 6 Agreement with the Highways Agency) states in paragraphs 9.5.8 to 9.5.11 that "an integral part of the Heysham to M6 Link Road Scheme is the improvement of the existing sub-standard layout of Junction 34 of the M6 Motorway [and] that the Secretary of State, as Highway Authority for trunk roads has agreed to authorise Lancashire County Council to construct the works to replace the M6 Junction 34 as agents for and on behalf of the Secretary of State".

The IPC has published its reasoning for accepting the application in the ?section 55 checklist? which is available on our website. The IPC?s view in regards to whether the development is an NSIP or forms part of an NSIP is detailed in paragraph 3.1 of the checklist.

09 February 2012
Alan James
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
The IPC was made aware of a communication between the Promoter and the HPA (Health Protection Agency) regarding the HPA's status as a statutory consultee.
In your email you state that the Health Protection Agency (HPA) is a ?statutory consultee?.

Just to be clear, although the HPA is one of the bodies listed in the schedules to the Infrastructure Planning (Applications: Prescribed Forms and Procedure) Regulations 2009 and the Infrastructure Planning (Interested Parties) Regulations 2010, the HPA is not automatically included in the IPC process in all cases. It is for the applicant and the IPC to each make discretionary judgements about this on a case by case basis under the relevant legislation. Further information on the relevant legislation and the IPC's approach can be found on the IPC's website and in particular in Advice Note 3.

In this case, if the HPA wishes to comment on the application and take part in the examination process, it must now register as an interested party and submit relevant representations no later than the deadline of the 20 February 2012.

You can register via the IPC website by following the link below and clicking the ?register online? button:
[attachment 1]

Alternatively, you may request a hard copy of the registration form through the post by calling our helpline number on 0303 444 5000.

19 January 2012
Health Protection Agency - Clare Gruar
Enquiry received via email
A stakeholder requested the name(s) of the Commissioner(s) appointed to handle the Heysham to M6 Link Road application, currently at pre-examination.

The reply from the IPC was by email.
Thank you for your email of 12 January 2012 asking for the name(s) of the Commissioner(s) appointed to examine the Heysham to M6 Link Road application, currently at the pre-examination stage.

The appointment of a panel of Commissioners or single Commissioner to handle this application (known as the Examining Authority) cannot happen until certain steps have been completed under the Planning Act 2008 (the Act), and secondary legislation, during the pre-examination stage.

One of these steps is that, after accepting the application, the IPC must receive from the applicant a certificate under s58(2) of the Act, showing that the applicant has complied with certain requirements, such as notifying persons of the deadline for making a relevant representation and making available a copy of the application and documents to certain persons identified in the Act. The IPC also needs to be informed of any persons with interests in the land to be compulsory acquired where s59 applies. Regulations 8 and 9 of the Infrastructure Planning (Applications: Prescribed Forms and Procedure) Regulations 2009 supplements these sections of the Act (link provided).

The Chair of the IPC, before he appoints the Examining Authority, needs also to have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State relevant to this application and also consult other Commissioners in whether there should be a single Commissioner, or a Panel, examining the application.

The IPC will inform interested parties (persons who have registered an interest in the application with the IPC using the relevant representation form, and persons automatically registered under legislation) by letter before the Preliminary Meeting about the appointment of the Examining Authority.

Please also find here a link to the IPC project page containing the online form for registering an interest in this application (link provided).

I hope his information has been of some help, but please contact the IPC again should you have any further questions and we will be happy to provide assistance.

13 January 2012
M Dickinson
Enquiry received via phone
Mr Dickinson called to ask how long the registration period will last for if the application is accepted.
The IPC explained that, if the application is accepted, the applicant will be required to advertise that acceptance with notices on the site and in the press. Those adverts will include a deadline for registration as an interested party, which will be a minimum of 28 days from the date of the advert. There is no maximum period, and the IPC does not control the period, which is set by the applicant subject to that minimum length.

07 December 2011
Michael Dickinson
Enquiry received via phone
The IPC received a telephone enquiry from a stakeholder in regard to the Heysham to M6 Link Road proposal currently at the pre-application stage, asking if Morecambe Town Council would be registered as an interested party for the purposes of the application process.

Our response was by email.
Thank you for your telephone enquiry to the IPC, asking if Morecambe Town Council will be registered as an interested party for the proposed Heysham to M6 Link Road application and whether individual council members can register their own views on the scheme.

If Morecambe Town Council has been consulted by the promoter under s.42 of the Planning Act 2008, the council will be classed as a statutory consultee. Should the proposed application be sent to the IPC, and then accepted for examination, statutory consultees will be automatically registered as interested parties for the purposes of participating in the examination process. Otherwise, a representative of Morecambe Town Council would need to register with the IPC their views in writing, by making a ?relevant representation? using the prescribed form on behalf of their organisation. Only people who register will be able to take part in the examination, and all representations will be considered by the examining authority when considering any application for a development consent order. Individual council members are allowed to make a ?relevant representation? if they wish to express their own view or provide additional evidence. The period for making representations will be publicised on our website during pre-examination.

As the application is still at the pre-application stage, I am unable to advise if Morecambe Town council is a statutory consultee and I would suggest you contact the developer for further information (email - [email protected]).

I hope this information has been of some help.

27 October 2011
Mike Dickinson
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Update on the timetable for submission of the application and project update.

26 October 2011
Lancashire County Council - Steven McCreesh
Enquiry received via phone
response has attachments
Was asking about the intention of the section in Advice Note 14 under the heading of EIA Regulations consultation.
see e-mail attached

24 October 2011
Lancashire County Council - Steven McCreesh
Enquiry received via email
response has attachments
Lancashire County Council (promoter) requested comments from the Commission on specific draft documents for the proposed Heysham to M6 Link Road, currently at pre-application, that were sent to the IPC.

Our reply was by letter.
Please see attachment.

20 October 2011
Lancashire County Council - Steven McCreesh
Enquiry received via post
response has attachments
A member writing on behalf of the Group of Halton Residents contacted the IPC by letter, commenting on the scope of pre-application consultation work undertaken for the proposed Heysham to M6 Link Road and Lancashire County Council's role in the process.

Our response was by email.
Thank you for your letter received on 29th September 2011, with the enclosed group?s response to Lancashire County Council?s (LCC) consultation and their response to your comments.

Your views about the scope of consultation undertaken for the proposed Heysham to M6 Link Road development, and LCC?s part in that process, have been noted. However, as the proposal is still at the pre-application stage of the development consent process the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) cannot formally accept your views at this time. Until such a time as the application is accepted by the IPC for examination, you should continue to correspond with Lancashire County Council as the promoter of the application.

If the application is submitted to the IPC, the Commission has a period of 28 days to decide whether or not to accept the application for examination. During ?acceptance?, local authorities and neighbouring local authorities will be invited to make representations to the IPC regarding the adequacy of the consultation carried out by the applicant.

Should the application be accepted by the IPC for examination, you will be given the chance to register your views by making a ?relevant representation? using the prescribed form. Once registered, you can request an open floor hearing and also attend the Preliminary Meeting in which the Commissioner or Panel of Commissioners will set the timetable for Examination. The period for making representations will be publicised on our website and further information about the application process, particularly Advice Note 8, can be found at the link below:

[attachment 1]

I trust this is helpful, but please contact me at the address above if I can be of further assistance.

18 October 2011
Halton Group of Residents - Michael Jacob
Enquiry received via post
Transport Solutions for Lancaster & Morecombe wrote to the IPC seeking clarification on a section of the note for the meeting on 17 August 2011 that was held between the IPC case team, Lancashire County Council (as promoter), Lancashire County Council (as consultee) and Lancaster City Council.

Our reply was by post.
Thank you for your letter.

The IPC believes that the published note for the Heysham to M6 Link Road meeting held on the 17 August 2011 is a fair and accurate representation of the comments made by attendees as well as advice given under s.51 of the Planning Act 2008.

As previously stated, a draft of the note is circulated to attendees to allow for further comments and to agree accuracy before it is published. It is not the policy of the IPC to retrospectively amend a meeting note with additional information after it has been finalised, as this would distort the purpose of the note which is to record a summary of information given by attendees at the time.

The matter raised by us at the meeting and which you followed up relates to a previous scheme. It was raised to help us understand the planning history and in that respect your letter to us is helpful.
However, in respect of the potential application, it will be for Lancaster City Council and any individual members to consider the content of any representations both to the applicant at the pre-application stage and, should an application be accepted for examination, to the IPC. Those representations should be on the current proposed scheme as defined in the consultation material at pre-application stage and the defined development in any application.

Outside of the issues relevant to the proposed scheme as set out in the application documents and consultation, it is for Lancaster City Council to decide how they should explain their position to stakeholders on the previous (non-IPC) application. However, as we are an impartial and independent body we cannot respond on behalf of parties for alleged falsehoods they may have made. Please do therefore continue to correspond directly on this issue with Lancaster City Council.

In the interests of openness I will advise Lancaster City Council of the correspondence we have received from you.

18 October 2011
Transport Solutions for L&M - David Gate
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Inception meeting with Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council to discuss the role of the Local Authorities in the application process, in particular the final parts of the pre-application stage and to understand the pre-application work undertaken to date.
See attached meeting note.

17 August 2011
Lancaster County Council - Steven McCreesh
Enquiry received via email
Lancashire County Council have indicated that ONLY issues relating to the proposed scheme as it now stands can be considered, but another source (a letter in the local newspaper [ Lancaster Guardian]) has advised that:

"Under its terms of reference the IPC can look again at all the issues involved including the fundamental ones of whether the original solution and decision was the right one."

Can you please advise which of these two is correct? And, if the latter, whether submissions can be made directly to the IPC or routed through Lancashire County Council?
A holding response was sent, but contained the following advice:

Please see our attached advice notes for information on making representations. These set out the different stages of the application process, how, when and who to make representations to. In general the pre-application stage is where the developer is responsible for handling representations. It has a duty to have regard to these, and to set out how it has done so if it makes an application to us. Should the IPC accept an application to go forward for examination, you can then register with us as an interested party to, among other things, make representations and request an open floor hearing.

12 July 2011
Rod Cartner
Enquiry received via email
Cllr Marsland offered reasons for his objection to the proposed development.
At this pre-application stage, the County as developer is responsible for handling any representations you or others may have on the proposed scheme. It is also legally required to have regard to these where they are made as part of formal consultation. The IPC has no role in considering representations during the pre-application stage and is not able to comment on the merits of the scheme.

However, once an application is then submitted to us, we have a more central role handling representations. Firstly we have 28 days in which to consider whether to accept it for examination. At this stage, we will invite Lancaster City Council as one of the statutory relevant local authorities for this proposal, to comment on the adequacy of the developer's consultation process.

Should the application be accepted for examination, there will be a period in which you can register with us as an interested party and set out the matters that you think the Commission should examine. You will then have a legal right to request an open floor hearing and be invited to a preliminary meeting where an appointed Commissioner or panel of Commissioners will consider the timetable for examination. The Council itself is automatically an interested party for the purposes of any examination.

30 June 2011
Lancaster City Council - G Marsland
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
To visit the site of the proposed Heysham to M6 link.

24 June 2011
Lancashire County Council - Steven McCreesh
Enquiry received via email
I am writing to inform you of my objections / comments on the Heysham to M6 link;

My objections are that this link road will not deliver economic benefit to the local area, of the 3000 construction jobs only 100 will be local unemployed people will benefit from training.

The proposed route will not help local industrial infrastructure as it will by pass the Lune Industrial estate, an existing brown field site.

The M6 junction 33 to Heysham route will deliver both transport & employment benefits to the area.
The proposed Heysham to M6 link project is currently at the pre-application stage. Until an application is made to the IPC, it is the developer's responsibility to seek views on its proposals. At this stage you should therefore direct any concerns to the developer (in this case Lancashire County Council).

At this pre-application stage the developer must comply with consultation requirements as set out in the Planning Act 2008. The developer has informed us that it is due to start formal consultation with the local community shortly. The developer is required to take account of any comments it receives and to demonstrate how it has done this when it makes an application. The pre-application consultation gives you the opportunity to shape and influence the proposed project.

Should an application be submitted and then accepted to go forward for examination, the public will be invited to register their interest and submit a ?Relevant Representation? to the IPC. More detailed representations can then be made during the examination stage. Further information can also be found on our website:

www.independent.gov.uk/infrastructure

I would encourage you to send your concerns direct to the developer. Your comments have however been noted and will be kept for our information as it is helpful for the IPC to be kept notified of the progress of this application from local residents.

01 June 2011
C Benson
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
To visit the site of the proposed Heysham to M6 link.

27 April 2011
Lancashire County Council - Steven McCreesh
Enquiry received via meeting
response has attachments
Introductory meeting with LCC and LC regarding a proposed highways scheme in Lancashire and to explain the IPC process and discuss the need for any outreach.
[attachment 1]

22 March 2011
Lancashire County Council - Steven McCreesh etc.