Navitus Bay Wind Park
Emai receivieved from Department of Culture, Media and Sport, enclosing correspondence from UNESCO
Thank you for your email enclosing the correspondence from UNESCO in relation to the proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park project.
We note that UNESCO has submitted representations to you and has asked that these be taken into account by the relevant competent authority when making a decision on whether the application should proceed to examination. It appears to relate to merits of the application and the views held by UNESCO. I set out some advice below about the application acceptance process and ask that you pass this information on to UNESCO.
The application for the proposed Navitus Bay Wind Park project was submitted to the Planning Inspectorate on 10 April 2014. The Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has a period of 28 days from 10 April to decide whether or not to accept the application to proceed to examination. This decision should be made not later than Thursday 8 May 2014. I believe that this is the critical date to which your email refers. If the application is accepted, an Examining Authority will be appointed to examine it through a process of written representations and possibly some hearings held in the local area.
The application acceptance process:
The Secretary of State?s decision as to whether or not to accept an application for examination must accord with the provisions of section 55 of the Planning Act 2008. Amongst other things, the application must be of a standard the Secretary of State considers satisfactory to proceed to examination and the applicant?s pre-application consultation should have complied with the statutory procedure.
During the 28 day acceptance period relevant local authorities have an opportunity to make representations about the adequacy of the applicant?s pre-application consultation, and any such representations received help to inform the Secretary of State?s decision about whether or not to accept an application. Under the legislation, there is no specific provision for parties other than the relevant local authorities to make representations to the Planning Inspectorate during the acceptance period.
UNESCO?s letter of 2 May 2014:
We note that UNESCO, in their letter of 2 May 2014, submitted representations to you and have asked that these are made available to the decision maker in respect of whether or not the application should proceed to examination. Whilst there is no provision for parties to make representations to the Planning Inspectorate during the acceptance period, UNESCO?s letter and its annex have been made available to the decision maker (which is the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) when considering the decision about whether or not to accept the application under section 55 of the PA 2008. Any weight given to the comments will depend on the individual facts of the case.
UNESCO should note that issues related to the merits of an application can only be considered during the examination of an application. We note that UNESCO do not state whether they have informed the applicant or any relevant local authority about their views on the project. We would advise that if UNESCO have not already done so, they contact the applicant (Navitus Bay Development Limited) as soon as possible to make them aware of their views.
If the application is accepted for examination, the applicant is, amongst other things, required to publicise the acceptance for at least two successive weeks in a local newspaper. A period for the making of ?relevant representations? is opened via the Planning Inspectorate?s website. This period must run for at least 28 days. If UNESCO are interested in the progress of this application, and if it is accepted for examination, they will need to register to become an interested party in the examination by making a relevant representation during the advertised period. Registering as an interested party would enable UNESCO to participate fully in the examination, including through the making of written representations and if relevant, oral submissions at any hearings that may be held. An Examining Authority would be appointed to examine the application and would make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change who would be ultimately responsible for making a decision about whether or not to grant consent for the project.