Further to our telephone call letting me know that members of the public cannot comment on the published “scoping report” for the A303 by Stonehenge WHS, would you be kind enough to let me know who the consultees are? I might be able to contact one of them to discuss further.
I’ve obviously not understood the report’s status or the opportunity it presents.
Thank you for your email. There is no statutory provision for us to issue the full list of consultation bodies at this point. However, the Scoping Opinion (when it is published on or before 30 November) will include in it, a list of all the EIA scoping consultation bodies.
The process of identifying EIA consultation bodies is set out in the Planning Inspectorate’s Advice note three: EIA consultation and notification and they include the relevant parish councils which have responsibility for the location where the proposals may or will be sited (ie parishes within which the application site boundary falls). I understand from your discussion with my colleague Rob that it is the parish councils which we consulted that you were particularly interested in, and these are as follows:
• Berwick St. James Parish Council
• Winterbourne Stoke Parish Council
• Shrewton Parish Council
• Amesbury Town Council
• Durrington Town Council
• Bulford Parish Council
• Steeple Langford Parish Council
• Woodford Parish Council
• Wilsford cum Lake Parish Meeting
• Cholderton Parish Meeting
We would encourage you, if possible, to engage with one of the parish councils and seek to convey your views as part of their response to the EIA scoping consultation if you wish to do so.
You should also note that there are statutory pre-application consultation requirements which the applicant must undertake in accordance with section 42 (Duty to consult) and section 47 (Duty to consult local community) of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended). There is further information on this process in the Planning Inspectorate’s Advice note eight series, including information as to how members of the public and other persons interested in the project can participate in the process. The statutory consultation process under the Planning Act is separate to the EIA scoping consultation process and is undertaken by the applicant themselves. I understand from Highways England’s own A303 Stonehenge project page that the statutory consultation process is planned to take place in “early 2018” and this is also referred to at section 4.4 of their Scoping Report which I understand you may have already seen. I would encourage you to speak to the applicant directly regarding the specific arrangements for their consultation process, and you will be able to participate in this process that the applicant is required to undertake (should you wish to do so). It is also worth noting that the applicant has a specific duty under s49 of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended) to have regard to relevant responses to their consultation in the preparation of their application.