Portishead Branch Line – MetroWest Phase 1

Enquiry received via email

Portishead Branch Line - MetroWest Phase 1

22 July 2020
Stuart Tarr


Could someone explain why work has started on the construction of the rail compounds, e.g. at Sheepway Farm; has other work started of which I am not aware? Is this DCO application, which is still subject to the ExA gathering evidence and facilitating public consultation, in effect (however it is presented) a retrospective application to approve matters already decided?

Advice given

The Portishead Branch Line - MetroWest Phase 1 scheme is currently in the ‘Pre-Examination stage’ with the Examining Authority’s (ExA) six-month Examination yet to start. Once the ‘Preliminary Meeting’ is held, the Examination will formally begin and the ExA can begin to test and probe the evidence via written and oral questioning. Construction of the development cannot commence until after the SoS’s decision has been made. The Planning Act 2008 regime has no scope to consent Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects retrospectively. It might be that some groundwork conducted on site by the Applicant at this stage could be a part of the scheme’s ongoing survey work programme or similar. Please contact the applicant, James Willcock at North Somerset Council directly who will be able to answer your concerns: [email protected] If you still have concerns once the Examination has started, you may wish to bring this to the attention of the ExA via written or oral submissions.