I understand the DCO application will be submitted to you next week. You've received a great deal of communication from members of the public on a wide range of issues in particular the adequacy of the consultations. Can I ask whether during your consideration of the application all the comments you've previously received will be reviewed and considered by you automatically when coming to your decision as to whether or not to accept the application for examination or whether all those that commented will need to register as interested partys and make their comments again ?
The comments received by the Planning Inspectorate concerning the Applicants Pre-application consultation can be considered in addition to the statutorily required Acceptance tests when making the decision about whether or not to accept the application under section 55 of the Planning Act 2008. It will be for the decision maker (the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State) to decide the weight to give to the views expressed in those comments based on the individual facts of the case.
The adequacy of the Applicant’s Pre-application consultation is not a subject that can be revisited in the examination; if the application is accepted. The examination of the application will deal with the merits of the Proposed Development. Representations made to the examination concerning the Applicant’s consultation will not be considered by the appointed Examining Authority (ExA).
Members of the local community who have made comments to the Planning Inspectorate about the merits of the Proposed Development at the Pre-application stage will need to repeat those comments in a Relevant Representation, at the appropriate time. The ExA will not be able to consider comments made about the merits of the Proposed Development that were submitted to the Planning Inspectorate at the Pre-application stage. For more information about making a Relevant Representation see our Advice Note 8.2: How to register to participate in an Examination: attachment 1