What would the complaints procedure be if I considered that the DCO process was being misused?
You will already be aware of the complaints procedure at the Pre-application stage of the process in respect of consultation, as set out in our Community Consultation FAQ: attachment 1
You will also be aware that the Planning Inspectorate cannot consider representations about the merits of a proposed development at the Pre-application stage of the process. For information about how and when you will be able to make representations to an appointed Examining Authority, please read our Advice Note 8 series: attachment 2
In respect of making a ‘complaint’ relating to the matter implied, this could be approached in the following ways:
• You could make representations to an appointed Examining Authority, at the appropriate time, about the Applicant’s case for Compulsory Acquisition (CA). Strict statutory tests must be satisfied by an applicant in order for powers relating to the CA of and rights to be included in a Development Consent Order. For more information see government guidance related to procedures for the CA of land: attachment 3; and
• Following the issue of the final decision by the Secretary of State, you could challenge the decision in the High Court through the process of Judicial Review (JR). You would need to take your own legal advice about the grounds upon which an application for JR could be made.
Separately, the Planning Inspectorate accepts that it is inevitable that there will sometimes be concerns about the Examination process or the Examining Authority’s report to the Secretary of State. In this respect, we will carefully consider and respond to any matters that you wish to raise. Information about our complaints procedure is available here: attachment 4