Cleve Hill Solar Park
Telephone enquiry by Vicky Ellis
Response by email on 17 July 2018:
As discussed, I have had a look into the meaning of the statement: ‘The Applicant has been discussing the possibility of disallowing legislation relating to the EA’, as documented in the meeting note of 30 April 2018.
Whilst the Applicant has not yet provided details of specific discussions with the Environment Agency (EA), I have found some background information which I hope is useful, which comes from Annex D of the Planning Inspectorate’s Advice Note 11: Working with Public Bodies: attachment 1.
The Applicant is considering the possibility of ‘disapplying’ some of the EA’s legislation, to enable it to undertake any necessary maintenance works to the flood defences. So that was a typo in the meeting note. In summary, disapplying EA legislation means:
•Section 120 of the Planning Act 2008 allows other types of consents to be included in a Development Consent Order (DCO - which is the type of planning permission required for a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project such as Cleve Hill Solar Park), meaning that they would be consented through the DCO, rather than through a separate consenting route.
•Section 150 of the Planning Act provides that for ‘prescribed’ consents (which are defined in the Infrastructure Planning (Interested Parties and Miscellaneous Prescribed Provisions) Regulations 2015; the relevant body (in this case, the EA) must consent to the inclusion of the consent in the DCO.
•Where the EA agrees that a DCO can remove the requirement to obtain the specified separate consent, they usually make their consent conditional on the inclusion of ‘protective provisions’ (which are essentially to ‘protect’ the interests of statutory bodies, whose assets or functions may be affected by the proposed development) within in the DCO, to enable the risk associated with the activity to be managed. This process is usually referred to as agreeing to ‘disapply’ the legislation specified in the DCO.
So if an Applicant intends to disapply any EA legislation, this would need to be discussed and agreed with the EA (before the application is submitted, or during the Examination, if the application is accepted).
We will seek a progress update on this matter at our next meeting with the Applicant and document this in the meeting note.
I trust that this assists, but if you have any further queries, please do get in touch.