Mid Wales Electricity Connection (N Grid)

Enquiry received via post

Mid Wales Electricity Connection (N Grid)

09 May 2011
Sally Herbert-Jones

Enquiry

I live in Melverley, a small village with the misfortune to fall under 4 of the 10 proposed route corridors that form part of the National Grid?s Mid Wales connection project.
I am deeply opposed to the erection of pylons anywhere in Shropshire. My main concern is with NGs consultation process and the manner with which they have delivered it. I do not feel that I have a chance to ?have my say? and believe the whole consultation process to be a deeply flawed sham.
The timing of the consultation is too short and has included several weeks of bank holiday disruption; it has left affected areas with very little time to prepare for public meetings.
This communication from the NG to the community has been misleading and inadequate.
In order to understand the scope of the project internet access is necessary, as a rural and isolated community many of us have limited if any access, those that do are working on ?dinosaur dial up? and not broadband.
This is not consultation.
Many people in my community who were not able to attend a consultation event are not even aware that they can have a voice (in the form of the NG feedback form). Those of us who did attend and are aware are struggling to get to grips with the form-it is not even clear how you are supposed to object to the project and it is almost impossible to vote against the project, it lures you in to voting to put the pylons in someone elses backyard which is not fair. This is not a fair consultation.
I plead with you to look into this matter in great detail; we have not been given opportunity to speak out.

Advice given

The National Grid Mid Wales Connections 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, the approach you have taken in contacting the promoter is appropriate at this stage. For reference, 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


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