Southampton to London Pipeline Project
Dear Sirs/Madams, In light of the current public health situation surrounding COVID-19 and the Planning Inspectorate’s recent decision to postpone all local plan, appeal and NSIP hearings and enquiries until further notice we write to ask whether any postponement or delay is envisaged in relation to the Southampton to London Pipeline Project. We note that the close of examination is to be the 9 April 2020 and our client, Thames Water Utilities Limited have issues and comments still outstanding. We may need to make final representations before the close of the examination if these are not satisfied by ongoing discussions with the We also wish to manage our clients expectations if there are likely to be delays in the examination and decision periods. Any information you may have in this regard would be welcomed. Kind regards Beth Youngs | Solicitor | Planning and Environmental Team | Birketts LLP
Dear Ms Youngs, Thank you for your e-mail below. The situation surrounding COVID-19 is a matter which is under constant review by the Inspectorate. We have set up a group that is dedicated to monitoring the situation, ensuring that we are operating in accordance with current Government guidelines. In relation to the Southampton to London Pipeline Project Examination, I can confirm that all public events have taken place; there are no further site inspections or hearings planned. In the absence of events necessitating social gathering, such as those listed above, there is no planned postponement of the Examination and it will continue to proceed; due to close on Thursday 9 April 2020. Your comments in relation to your client’s position are noted. There is an opportunity for all Interested Parties to submit their respective positions by the final Examination deadline (Deadline 7 – 2 April 2020). Please note that if any representations are submitted after this deadline, but before the close of the Examination, it will be for the Examining Authority (ExA) to decide whether to exercise its discretion to accept. Any representations submitted after the close of the Examination will not be seen by the ExA and will be passed to BEIS, alongside the ExA’s Recommendation Report. Finally, I regret to inform you that the Inspectorate is not in a position to confirm whether there will be any delay to the decision period; that is a matter for BEIS and will depend on a number of factors such as whether any consultation is required.