Keuper Gas Storage Project
The applicant sought PINS advice on its approach to its Preliminary Environmental Information Report and consultation under section 42 of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended)
Under the Planning Act 2008 and regulation 10 of the associated Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2009, the applicant has a duty to ensure that it consults on its PEIR under section 47 ? duty to consult local community. However, as you?ve identified in your SoCC that you would also provide the PEIR as part of your consultation material to consultees identified in section 42 then it?s worth ensuring, and confirming with the relevant local authorities, that you have done so.
In terms of your duties, the approach to providing PEIRs to some section 42 consultees directly and others on request appears to me to be relevant only in relation to the SoCC and section 47 (7) of the Act (carrying out consultation in accordance with the SoCC). To demonstrate that you have met those duties, you may wish to provide evidence that you have completed the approach set out in the SoCC, and evidence of how you have had regard to any responses received that may relate to people requesting further information or dissatisfaction with your approach, should enable you to demonstrate that you have met those duties.
From my reading, the SoCC itself sets out how the PEIR will be publicised and consulted on in the context of the wider consultation with s47 consultees, which is in line with regulation 10 of the EIA regulations mentioned above.
Overall, you may wish to evidence the following in your consultation report:
- How you have met each duty set out in legislation in relation to consultation requirements, including those relating to PEIR
- A dated copy of letters in relation consulting on the PEIR.
- Requests under any of the sections of the Act on consultation where people have requested further information on the PEIR, and how you have had regard to those requests.
These comments are without prejudice to any decision the Secretary of State may make at Acceptance and do not constitute legal advice