Mid Wales Electricity Connection (N Grid)

Enquiry received via email

Mid Wales Electricity Connection (N Grid)

16 January 2012
National Grid - Jacqui Fenn

Enquiry

National Grid, intend to produce the following documents to evidence the first round of public consultation as follows:
Raw data report
Analysis Report
Feedback Report
The above documents will inform the Statement of Preferred Option and will feed into the final Consultation Report.
Our question is around the Raw Data Report and the Analysis Report.
Following the recent advice note issued by the IPC (Compiling the Consultation Report October 2011) we have had a debate as to how best to collate data in both the above documents. Currently these are split into two sections ? the first being stakeholder ? which includes both those described in the statute and other stakeholders. The second section is public.
We have discussed the guidance and feel it may be helpful to further split the first of these sections down into subsections as follows:
OPTION 1
Prescribed consultees (S.42)
National/regional/local bodies
Local Authorities (S43)
Emergency Services
Governmental
Non departmental public bodies
Parish, community and Town Councils
Statutory Undertakers
Local community (S.47)
Project specific local interest groups
Other national/regional/local bodies
This will allow more granularity in the Raw Data Report and Analysis Report ? rather than just grouping all stakeholders together.
However there is a thought that if we are sub dividing in this way we could take this further and sub divide even further as follows:
OPTION 2
Prescribed consultees:
National/regional/local bodies
Local Authorities (S43)
Emergency Services
Governmental
Non departmental public bodies
Parish, community and Town Councils
Statutory Undertakers
Other consultees:
The local community (project specific/local interest groups)
Business
Heritage groups
Access groups
Non statutory environmental groups
Academic
Crown
People living in the vicinity of the land.
We have some concerns about the second approach. At this stage of the consultation we have very few response in some of these categories and therefore to sub divide so widely will in effect mean that the summary report in effect becomes another list of consultation responses (which is the function of the raw data report). It may be that this approach is more useful in the next round of consultation when we would expect to see much more detailed responses from some of these groups and hopefully responses from a much more varied range of consultees.
We feel that further sub-categorisation provides no benefits in the Raw Data Report as all responses are fully set out and the grouping outlined in Option 1 above provides sufficient flexibility.
We are keen to retain the difference between the Raw Data Report and the summary Report and are slightly concerned that categorisation over and above Option 1 will mean that the tow documents become very similar.

Advice given

Whilst the IPC is unable to provide definitive advice on the way in which applicants structure their consultation data in reports over and above that contained in Advice Note 14: Compiling the Consultation Report, I hope that the following points are helpful:
Splitting the consultation respondents in to sections that relate to the 2008 Planning Act seems logical. I have made the assumption that this is all informal consultation and therefore advise that you make this clear that you have not to date been consulting in line with the sections in the Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) but rather using the categories as guidance, choosing your group titles accordingly. For example you should avoid referring to 's47 consultation' unless it is actually undertaken in accordance with the PA 2008. As such your Consultation Report must be absolutely clear what the status was of the phase one consultation undertaken last year, e.g. informal consultation with the local community.
I would encourage that you look at the s.55 checklist which the IPC publishes with accepted applications. This form will not only provide comments that we have made on previous Consultation Reports but will also provide an insight into what the IPC looks for and the order in which our checks are carried out. It will indicate perhaps, how you might categorise the respondents in to groups. Please note that the s.55 checklist may well change between now and your submission date and therefore you may which to address these changes as they arise.
Hinkley New Nuclear Power Station C has been accepted for examination. Whilst the Consultation Report should not necessarily be seen as best practice, you may find it helpful as an example of a Consultation Report addressing a large number of responses. It is available on our website at : attachment 1
As the Local Authorities will be invited to read the Consultation Report and provide their views to the IPC as to the adequacy of your consultation, we would encourage you to speak with them about how data is presented.
The main aim is to enable the report to be logical and accessible. If you feel that 'Option 1' is the best way to achieve this aim in reporting on the consultation at this stage then we cannot see a problem with this approach.


attachment 1
attachment 1