Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay
Query regarding the opening of relevant representations
Thank you for your email. As you will be aware, the Secretary of State (SoS) is due to make a decision on whether the accept the application made by Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay (TLSB) by 7 March 2014. Therefore, I provide the following advice without making any judgment on that decision.
In relation to the duty upon an applicant under section 56 of the Planning Act 2008 (PA 2008) to notify persons of an accepted application, I can confirm the following. s.56(5) of the PA 2008 requires that the deadline by which persons can make representations must not be earlier than the end of the period of 28 days that begins with the day after the day on which the person receives the notice.
In addition, publicising an accepted application under Regulation 9 of the Infrastructure Planning (Applications: Prescribed Forms and Procedure) Regulations 2009 (APFP Regs.) requires, amongst other things, an applicant to publicise acceptance in accordance with Regulation 4(2)(a) to (d) of the APFP Regs. The deadline for receipt by the SoS of relevant representations must not be less than 28 days following the day that the notice is last published (Reg. 9(4)(j)).
Therefore, both these pieces of legislation need to be considered prior to notifying persons of and advertising the start and end of the relevant representation period.
As a result of the legislation, depending on when TLSB sends out the s.56(2) notices, 10 March probably will be (but may not be) the start of the period for making relevant representations. In practice, given that the notices are unlikely to be sent out before 10 March, and in view of the s.56(5) deadline, persons will probably receive these after publication of the first newspaper notices.
TLSB may not send out the s.56(2) notices, place the newspaper notices or put up the site notices at the same time. As noted above, the deadline under s.56(2) is anyway related to when these notices are received rather than sent. However, it would be advisable for TLSB to specify the same deadline by which representations need to be made in each of these (i.e. in the s.56(2) notices, newspaper notices and site notices).
Furthermore, to assist in preparing for examination, where an application is accepted, s.51 advice is often provided. The content of this, may influence your view on when to notify persons of and publicise the period for making relevant representations or how long to make that period.
After considering the advice set out above, it would be very helpful for you to confirm to the Planning Inspectorate, should the application be accepted, the dates between which, you would wish the relevant representation form to be available on the National Infrastructure Pages on the Planning Portal. Further advice on the pre-application period will be provided should the application be accepted.