Our question as to whether this could be viewed in practice as a consultation period between PINS & RSP was really not answered. To an observer this does seem to be the case borne out by conferences you have had with RPS during the 28 day period. Is it normal to liaise with applicants during this period? Also the reply you did give we found confusing.
"Advice reflecting the same concerns would have been issued to the Applicant if it had not decided to withdraw the application and the Planning Inspectorate had proceeded to issue an Acceptance decision."
This does seem to infer that in spite of the inadequacies that there was a possibility that you would allow this application to proceed to examination. Surely given these gaps in information it should be declined. If it had of been accepted(or the possibility it would) what is the the point of the a pre-application. Given the eleventh hour of the withdrawal by RSP PINS must have come to a decision whether to accept the pre-application or not. There is a general feeling in Thanet that you are giving RSP a lot of support and leeway as it is being viewed as an exercise prior to a DCO application from Heathrow.
First, by way of clarification an ‘Acceptance decision’ in the context of the statement copied in to your enquiry is ‘a decision about whether or not to accept the application’ – not a ‘decision to accept the application for examination’.
Second, in analogous circumstances the Planning Inspectorate has contacted other applicants to establish concerns. In that respect, the following applications have also been withdrawn by the respective applicants at the Acceptance stage:
• Rampion Offshore Wind Farm: attachment 1
• Mynydd y Gwynt Wind Farm: attachment 2
• York Potash Harbour Facility: attachment 3
• Tees CCPP: attachment 4