Keuper Gas Storage Project

Enquiry received via email

Keuper Gas Storage Project

30 March 2016
Cheshire East Council - Emma Williams


We are a neighbouring authority to this scheme. We have not yet registered as an interested party. I note from the letter that in the first round of written questions there are three questions identified for our authority.
Can you advise if are we required to register as an interested party in order to respond to the questions raised in the Examining Inspector?s rule 8 letter?
If we do register as an interested party do we have to produce a local impact assessment as well as answering the questions raised?
Also can you please clarify whether, as a neighbouring authority, we are required to speak at the hearings, given that we will, I assume, be required to respond in writing to the questions raised?

Advice given

The questions directed to you in the Examining Inspector?s rule 8 letter is a request for further information regarding the project. You are not obliged to respond to the questions, however it will aid the Examining Inspector in making his recommendation to the secretary of state for Energy and Climate change if you would be able to respond to his queries.
You can respond to the Examining Inspector?s questions without registering as an interested party. However if you respond without being an interested party, the Examining Inspector does not have to have regards to your submissions when writing his report to the secretary of state.
As a registered interested party, the Examining Inspector will have regards to your submissions and it will also allow you to comment on other interested parties submissions, request open floor hearings and partake any open floor or issue specific hearing during the examination if you so wish.
By registering as an interested, it will be easier for you to influence the parts of the project that are relevant to your constituents.
To become an interested party, we only require you to write to us either by post or email to confirm that Cheshire East wishes to become an interested party by Deadline 1 (13 April 2016).
In regards of the local impact report, your council is a so called ?A? authority under s56A of the 2008 Planning Act and is therefore invited to submit a local impact report under s60(2)(a) of the 2008 Planning Act. This means that your council borders either Cheshire West and Chester Council or Halton Borough Council. Under the 2008 Planning Act you are not obliged to submit a local impact report. However if you do submit one, the secretary of state must have regards to it under s104(2)(b) of the 2008 Planning act when she makes her decision. More information about local impact reports can be found in Advice note one: Local impact reports
As for having to speak at any of the hearings listed in the timetable included in the rule 8 letter, it is again for the council to make this decision whether to attend or not. The Examining Inspector will, prior to any hearing, issue an agenda which will aid your council when deciding whether to attend the hearing or not.