In the context of the submissions of Highways England, multiple individual IPs and Wiltshire and the TRF, we are concerned with the section 51 advice letter does not address the submissions previously made that the changes proposed by Wiltshire and the TRF need to be accompanied by an assessment of their impact to matters such as heritage and equalities, to enable them to be considered fully by all parties – the changes are more than just a consideration of the changes to the drafting of the DCO. This is something that the Examining Authority is well placed to ask for, whether through a Procedural Decision under rule 8(3) to vary the timetable to provide for it; through rule 17 by asking for more information from Wiltshire Council in the form of such assessments, or through section 89 of the Planning Act 2008 which gives the Examining Authority wide discretion to make such procedural decisions as the Examining Authority thinks appropriate. Indeed, if felt appropriate, section 89 would also allow the Examining Authority to make a procedural decision which determines that no additional submissions are required on the point as that would still be a decision about how the Examination is carried out, in light of the submissions that have been made by various parties. As such, and in light of the proposed scope of the proposed hearing on 22 August, we would repeat our request for the ExA to make a procedural decision in some form, of how it considers that it will deal with this issue in the rest of the Examination. In respect of consultation, whilst we note the section 51 advice, we also consider that a procedural decision is able to be made by the ExA in terms of requiring consultation to be undertaken by Interested Parties, pursuant to section 89. There is nothing in the ambit of that section which requires decisions to be directed only at Applicants. We would grateful for any clarity on why it is considered that such a decision is not able to be made? In conclusion therefore, we would be assisted if an indication could be given as to whether the Examining Authority will make any form of procedural decision in respect of what further submissions it expects to see from relevant parties on this AMES 11 and 12 issue.
See attached letter.