You were asked why you were writing to the pro-airport organisation, asking them to write to you, whilst simultaneously telling them that only comments relating to the applicants consultation can accepted at the pre-examination stage. You have made no attempt whatsoever to explain your, apparently, contradictory behaviour.
You were also asked to comment on the allegation that you have considered things which should rightly have been considered at a later stage of the process. You have stated that the application was subjected to the relevant acceptance tests. You have not commented on the allegation which has been made and you have not denied the allegation.
The Inspectorate has not written to SMAa in the context implied. The advice issued to SMAa in respect of ‘collated responses’ was issued in September 2017 and was provided in response to an enquiry concerned explicitly with the Applicant’s Pre-application consultation. I had intended to provide a link to the record of this enquiry in my previous response to you – apologies for that omission: attachment 1
By way of clarification, my advice to SMAa on 26 June 2018 was that “only correspondence regarding an applicant’s formal statutory consultation under s42, s47 and/ or s48 can be considered at the Acceptance stage [emphasis added]. All other aspects of the Acceptance decision are deliberated and taken by the Secretary of State on the basis of the application documents alone.”
The Inspectorate considered the application submitted on 10 April 2018 against the Acceptance tests, which are a matter of fact. On that basis nothing within the application documentation as submitted was considered prematurely.