Brechfa Forest Connection
A large section of the local community, and a further raft of local farmers, including local MP's and candidates would like to ensure our public opposition to this grid connection and overall scheme is taken into account fully during the grid connection final appraisal. Would would like our ability to veto plans instigated in line with the immediate changes that have been made to the planning policy to allow local communities a say.
Could you please tell us the best way to feed into this process at this stage?
The decision on this grid connection now appears to fall outside the governments cut-off for schemes to have approval and acceptance, can you please confirm this?
Thank you for your email, which I believe references recent government statements about changes to infrastructure consenting.
These changes have not yet been legislated for, so are not currently in effect. The Planning Inspectorate will continue to operate the processes of the Planning Act 2008 and adhere to designated National Policy Statements until these are formally changed. I note that you have included your local MP and the Secretary of State in your email; I trust that they will be able to provide you with more information.
The existing Planning Act 2008 process provides for public involvement in the examination of Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects. You may be familiar with this process following the examination of the Brechfa Forest West wind farm itself. Advice on how to get involved in the process is published on our website at attachment 1; advice note 8 is especially relevant. The Planning Inspectorate is currently considering whether the application made by Western Power Distribution is suitable for examination; the deadline for making this acceptance decision is Friday 26 June 2015. If the application is accepted for examination then you will be able to make relevant representations shortly.
I believe that your final point relates to the funding of renewable energy schemes. Unless and until a live application is withdrawn by its promoter the Planning Inspectorate is under a duty to examine it.