I note that RSP declares on its website that it has "temporarily" withdrawn its application for a DCO. It claims that "this is not uncommon with DCOs and RSP is in dialogue with the Planning Inspectorate in order that the application can be resubmitted as soon as possible."
An advice note issued by local airport enthusiasts adds that "there is no reason to believe that the renewed Acceptance phase will need the full 28 days to complete."
The general impression being given by the developers is of a cosy ongoing dialogue with the Planning Inspectorate, aimed at ensuring acceptance of the application as soon as possible. I find it difficult to equate this with the statutory procedures, as explained on your website, nor your repeated assurances that PINS has no view on the merits of the DCO until is is accepted for examination.
It would be good to have some renewal of confidence in the transparency and accountability to which PINS is committed.
Can you please clarify:
a) whether PINS had reached any view on the merits of the application prior to its withdrawal
b) whether any such view had been communicated to the applicants
c) if there is any truth in the suggestion that you are colluding with the applicant so as to assist him achieve his objectives
d) if it is indeed common for DCO applications too be withdrawn on the eve of decision notification day (and where examples of this can be seen, please)
e) if there is indeed "no reason to believe that the renewed Acceptance phase will need the full 28 days too complete"?
a), b) and c) – please see the advice provided in response the enquiry recorded at the following link: attachment 1
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.
d) Five applications have been withdrawn during the Acceptance stage:
• Rampion Offshore Wind Farm: attachment 2
• Mynydd y Gwynt Wind Farm: attachment 3
• York Potash Harbour Facility: attachment 4
• Tees CCPP: attachment 5
• Manston Airport: attachment 6
e) Any resubmission by the Applicant will be treated as a new application for the purposes of the Acceptance tests. The Planning Inspectorate would have up to 28 days to take its decision about whether the application could be accepted for examination.
In respect of your follow-up email dated 9 May 2018, we cannot comment on the assertions of local politicians. The advice provided at the link above explains how the Planning Inspectorate advised the Applicant during the Acceptance stage.