Cleve Hill Solar Park
PINS follow up advice - 30 April 2018 meeting
New case law
As discussed during the telecon earlier today - we are aware of a recent European Court of Justice judgment, which has implications for UK practice of considering mitigation at the screening stage of HRA in determining whether appropriate assessment is required.
The case is: C-323/17 - People Over Wind, Peter Sweetman v Coillte Teoranta (2018) (12/04/18).
You may wish to consider whether this judgement has any implications for your approach to the HRA for Cleve Hill, in discussion with Natural England. Section 51 advice in this regard has just been issued to the Applicant for the Kemsley K4 project, which you may find useful:
Regulation 32 transboundary screening
We briefly discussed the transboundary screening which is undertaken by the Planning Inspectorate during the pre-application stage, based on the information provided in the Scoping Report. The screening is undertaken in line with our duties under Regulation 32 of the EIA Regulations 2017, which require us to consider whether a proposed NSIP is likely to give rise to significant effects on the environment in another European Economic Area (EEA) State. Further information is provided in our Advice Note 12.
We note from the Scoping Report that the qualifying features of the Swale SPA and Ramsar site are likely to include migratory bird species, and therefore we need to consider the connectivity between these sites and European sites in other EEA States. We would therefore welcome clarification on the following points:
• Which qualifying features of the Swale SPA and Ramsar are migratory species?
• Are any of the qualifying features of the Swale SPA and Ramsar also features in connected European sites in other EEA States?
• It is understood that the final assessment conclusions have not yet been reached. However, can you please provide information to support the Inspectorate in making a decision regarding the potential for significant effects in other EEA States, taking into account the questions raised above?
If you are able to provide information in this regard, we may be able to rely on that for the purposes of transboundary screening, thus avoiding the need to inform other EEA States on a precautionary basis. Just to confirm, we would publish any such information you provide on our website.
Red line boundary extension below mean high water
We discussed today your intention to undertake consultation with the MMO, given the proposed extension of the red line boundary below mean high water. We would also suggest consulting the following bodies, if you haven’t already:
• Ministry of Defence (we usually identify this body if a proposed development enters the marine area);
• Any statutory dock, port or harbour authorities whose functions may be affected by the proposed development.
I hope that this is useful but if you have questions on any of the above, then please do not hesitate to contact me.