AQUIND Interconnector

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

AQUIND Interconnector

Received 18 February 2020
From Hampshire County Council

Representation

This is a single representation from Hampshire County Council (the Council) which summarises the current position of the Authority. The response progresses discussions which have taken place to date between the Council and the Applicant. It is accepted that the Development Consent Order process is ongoing and that many of the technical issues are the basis of individual discussions between the Council and the Applicant and are likely to be the subject of further discussion in the Local Impact Report. It is also acknowledged that the position of the Council on specific issues will evolve over the course of the DCO. At the time of writing this representation the Council’s main areas of concern are summarised in the following key areas: Highways – the Council are pleased with the progress of engagement with the Applicant to date, who have considered many of the Councils concerns and recommendations. However, the Council are seeking additional information in order to fully assess the application, including further clarification and justification as to why there are no suitable alternatives to the utilisation of the A3 and B2150 for cable laying in order to ensure the prolonged delay and disruption to the general public can be considered a necessity for the delivery of this project. The Council will seek appropriate mitigation measures to offset the impacts of the development and ensure residents, nearby development sites and businesses are not unduly affected by the proposed works. The Council notes that the submitted DCO is seeking to disapply elements of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (NRSWA) and the Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA). The Council’s overriding concern is that its ability to manage and coordinate activities on the Highways is not unduly prejudiced, to ensure they are safely executed and the specification for the reinstatement of openings in Highways is complied with as required. As such, it’s preference is to retain the elements of the NRSWA and TMA that the applicant seeks to disapply, including the provision of the permit scheme that the Council operates. In the absence of such an agreement with the applicant, it will seek to ensure that there is suitable wording, and agreement about the extent and format of information to be provided, within the DCO to replicate the requirements of these Acts to ensure that the operation of the highways are effectively controlled and managed. The proposals as set out by the applicant in the DCO for agreeing road space are likely to be resource intensive. Additional resources will therefore be needed to manage and coordinate the works and funds are likely to be sought from the applicant to undertake these additional tasks. Lead Local Flood Authority – the Council have some reservations about the flood risk assessment as submitted and have requested further information on a number of specific areas of uncertainty. The Council welcomes the provision made to ensure a consent/permit application is submitted in relation to those temporary or permanent works affecting capacity of ordinary watercourses. The Council is also concerned that the submitted DCO, as prepared, does not fully recognise the responsibilities of the LLFA in relation to surface water management nor provide sufficient details of a surface water drainage scheme. As with the highway considerations, it is likely that the additional resources required to oversee this work will need to be provided. Funds from the applicant are therefore likely to be sought in this regard. Heritage – the Council are generally satisfied with the information submitted in the Environmental Statement in relation to the three proposed strategies (greenfield, brownfield and highway) for addressing the archaeological potential within the route parameters. Landscape - The development will undeniably have a significant effect on both the landscape character and appearance on parts of the proposed route, particularly the proposed additional building at Lovedean. We note the concerns expressed by other local planning authorities in this regard, and seek further information on the details and justification for the proposal, including the bulk, size and siting of the building. Nevertheless, we note that the proposed mitigation appears to be in scale with the development and is capable of reducing the impact of the proposal in the landscape. Overall level of detail – there remains some concerns about the level of detail submitted, including the tolerance/flexibility currently provided for in the on-shore route and design/siting of above ground infrastructure. Hampshire County Council will continue engagement with the Applicant on these matters and detailed comments on the outstanding issues will be included in the Local Impact Report.