Mid Wales Electricity Connection (N Grid)

Enquiry received via post

Mid Wales Electricity Connection (N Grid)

04 May 2011
Sarah Faulkner

Enquiry

People are told to use an online response system, hardly appropriate for such a rural area with poor broadband coverage. People who are not used to dealing with consultations feel that they have no alternative but to answer them.
Would like some clarification on how the planning process would work in this case, particularly as it affects communities in England and Wales.
The people of Montgomeryshire have indicated that they do not want this project to proceed in it's current form. Please can you look into this consultation process to ensure that the views of the communities affected are adequately represented by National Grid.

Advice given

This project is currently at the 'pre-application' stage of our process, as set out in the Planning Act 2008. During the pre-application stage, there is a duty on the developer to undertake consultation with people living in the vicinity of the proposed project, and to have regard to responses to that consultation. In order for comments to be taken into account at this stage, comments and responses should be directed to National Grid as the developer of the project.
The IPC's role at the pre-application stage is to provide advice about the process of making an application, or the process of making a representation about an application. Whilst we are happy to be copied in on any comments you make to the developer, we are unable to provide legal opinions or comment on the merits of the scheme or national policy. This ensures the impartiality of the IPC and protects the interests of all parties involved in the application process. All advice that we give is recorded via an advice log, in line with s.51 of the Planning Act 2008. This log is published on our website. attachment 1
With the above in mind, may I therefore suggest that the queries set out in your letter are raised directly with the promoter of the Mid Wales Connection scheme. The National Grid project team can be contacted on 0800 019 5325 or by email at national [email protected] There is also a project website;
attachment 2 .
Your local council also plays a role in the process at the pre-application stage and we would encourage you to copy to the council any comments you send to the developer at the pre-application stage. Further information on this and how you can be involved in the developers? consultation is detailed in advice note 8.2, this can be found at: attachment 3.
Once the pre-application consultation duties are complete, the developer may submit an application to the Commission. The Commission has 28 days to decide whether to accept the application to proceed to the examination stage. This decision is based on whether, amongst other matters, the pre-application consultation has been adequate. When making a decision on whether the pre-application consultation has been adequate, the Commission will have regard to:
? National Grid?s consultation report;
? Any comments on the adequacy of consultation submitted by relevant Local Authorities; and
? The extent to which National Grid have followed the guidance published by the Commission and the Secretary of State.
If an application is accepted for examination by the Infrastructure Planning Commission, you are able to become directly involved in the examination of an application. A suite of advice notes has been published providing information on how and when members of the public can become involved in the planning process and have their say. In particular, advice note 8.3 provides information on how to register and make a written representation. This can be found at: attachment 3.
Further information on the 2008 Planning Act (the Act) process can be found our website attachment 5. I have enclosed two guidance notes for your convenience. I can confirm that the process of examination of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) is the same in Wales as it is in England. However, there are elements of the Act that apply differently in Wales and England respectively. One relevant example of this is regarding whether an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) may include ?Associated Development?. For this reason, whilst the proposed overhead power lines have been identified by National Grid and SPEN as NSIPs, and therefore examined by the IPC, the substation ?hub?, which forms part of the National Grid Mid Wales Connections Project will
Further information can be found through the CLG guidance on Associated Development, which can also be found under Advice and Guidance on the IPC website.
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