North West Coast Connections Project - N Grid
In response to the Planning Inspectorate's advice provided on 29 February 2016, Power Without Pylons sent the following enquiry:
It implies to me that, in relation to this project, it would therefore be at the discretion of National Grid as to whether to include a potential sub-sea element as part of the proposed NSIP.
Would you be able to confirm that?
If so, would it be possible, at this stage in the project, to remove the southern route entirely from the NSIP application if National Grid decided to opt for the HVDC sub-sea option for that part of the project?
The Planning Inspectorate provided the following advice:
We are aware that following earlier rounds of consultation, National Grid is no longer progressing the ?offshore south? HVDC route option for this scheme. Please follow this link which provides further information on the proposed route and information on why certain options, including ?offshore south?, were not taken forward: attachment 1
We strongly advise you to contact National Grid with any comments you may have on this proposal, to enable them to consider your points prior to submission of an application to the Planning Inspectorate.
To answer your query, developers would need to consider a number of matters when deciding whether or not to include HVDC within their NSIP application for an overhead electric line. For example, there is the legal context as to whether HVDC offshore cables can be described as integral to or associated with the overhead line NSIP, also developers must be careful not to ?salami slice? their proposals into smaller separate applications where it could appear that an Environmental Impact Assessment would not be required, or that each part of the proposal had a reduced impact on the environment compared with the scheme in its entirety. However please note that it is the Secretary of State?s decision, following the examination of the application and recommendation made by the Examining Authority at the Planning Inspectorate, as to what can be consented as part of the project.
To date we have not dealt with a submitted overhead electric line NSIP application which had both overhead onshore and HVDC offshore lines. We have however dealt with: applications for overhead lines which included a section of undergrounding (onshore); an underground electric line and offshore HVAC connection which was Directed to be considered an NSIP under section 35 of the Planning Act 2008; and also offshore generating stations which include HVDC connections to land.