The first question asked what weight, if any, PINS gave to the detailed and substantial factual evidence submitted to it regarding the misrepresentation by the applicant of his proposals during the statutory consultation.
The second question was not about laws of the Council of Europe (i.e. the Convention to which the Human Rights Act 1998 gives further effect), rather it is about the laws of the European Union. I read that the UK Regulations under which you are working seek to give effect to superior EU law and that this Union law is intended to confer rights on the individual citizen. If that is the case, the UK government agencies implementing these laws are obliged to make the public aware of the relevant rights. This question is simply about trying to establish how you see your accountability in relation to EU law regarding the public consultation and if there are rights affecting the ordinary citizen which you could tell us about - as the implementer of those rights.
The s55 Acceptance of Applications Checklist* (the Checklist) records that in reaching its conclusion under s55 of PA2008, the Planning Inspectorate had regard to correspondence received from various persons relating to the Applicant’s Pre-application consultation. The weight attributed to that correspondence was not so great as to outweigh the evidence provided by the Applicant demonstrating that it had acted reasonably in seeking to comply with Chapter 2 of Part 5 (pre-application procedure) of the PA2008; as the conclusion in the Checklist states at Box 25.
Under section 51 of the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008), the Planning Inspectorate can issue advice about:
• applying for an order granting development consent; and/ or
• making representations about an application, or a proposed application, for such an order.
Through this process the Planning Inspectorate exercises its duty to make the public aware of its rights by, amongst other things:
• Publishing and maintaining a suite of advice notes informing applicants, consultees, the public and others about a range of process matters in relation to the PA2008;
• responding to enquiries with s51 advice, where applicable, and recording each item of s51 advice given on the National Infrastructure Planning website; and separately
• making relevant legislation and statutory guidance easily accessible on the website.