Thank you for your prompt response to my queries about RSP's forthcoming consultation exercise. Needless to say, your response is very unsatisfactory.
It may well be true that you are ticking all of the correct boxes to show that you did things by the book. But even you must be able to see how ridiculous your position is. You are suggesting that this company can go ahead and organise as many pre-application consultations as they like, and that none of them needs to include essential details like how many night flights they are planning to have or the mitigation measures they are planning. What on Earth is the point of the consultation? Meanwhile RSP are popping into your office on a regular basis for cosy chats over tea and biscuits. During those cosy chats you are under no obligation whatsoever, to steer them on what should or should not be included in a consultation. What on Earth is the point of your cosy chats? Is it not about time you had a meeting with the Minister to explain how this application is exposing some major shortcomings in the procedure which you are following in order to tick the boxes? Is it not about time the Planning Inspectorate told this company to do it properly or not at all?
Our Pre-application meetings with applicants are undertaken within the procedures set out in the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008). In accordance with section 51 of the PA2008 we record all advice that is issued in the meeting dialogue, along with a summary of the key issues discussed. Pre-application meetings form an important part of the Pre-application service for applicants for the reasons set out in our Pre-application Prospectus: attachment 1
The PA2008 process is frontloaded, meaning the onus is on applicants to get their applications right before they are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. On that basis, provided that the statutory procedures set out in the PA2008 are satisfied there is no limit placed on the number of statutory Pre-application exercises a particular applicant may choose to undertake, and it is not unprecedented or unusual for an applicant to carry more than one statutory consultation exercise. Whether an application is sufficiently progressed and ready for submission is a judgment for applicants to take, at their own risk.
As you are aware, the Applicant has publicly summarised justification for its 2018 statutory consultation exercise and states that further details will follow in due course: attachment 2