Wrexham Energy Centre

Enquiry received via email

Wrexham Energy Centre

14 May 2013
Shona Newton


E-mail from Shona Newton sent to the Planning Inspectorate in regard to s53 of the Planning Act 2008:
Having tried and failed to obtain information from WPL with regard to proposals for a gas fired Power Station in Wrexham, we wrote to St Modwen Plc who are 50% owners of WPL, to see if they could help. We asked them to obtain answers to some specific questions and to bring local concerns with regard to the company to their attention. A copy of this correspondence is enclosed.
I am a landowner of part of the route to which WPL are requesting access. I can confirm that I have received no literature or other correspondence from WPL with regard to its proposal to build a power station on the Wrexham Industrial Estate with related pylon infrastructure.
WPL state they have communicated with the interested parties with the power station site and related pylon route, claiming
1. To have communicated with affected landowners and other interested parties
2. To have distributed over 6,000 leaflets to relevant parties
I have spoken to numerous affected residents and landowners and am yet to meet anyone who has received one of the 6,000 leaflets said to have been distributed.
I understand that approximately six landowners have received communication under the s53 Planning Act 2008 with regard to access onto their land and that WPL say that all the other landowners have agreed to their access request. I have spoken to many of these landowners and I can categorically confirm that few if any have agreed to access and that several, like myself, have received no communication from the company.
I am aware of widespread concern with regard to WPL?s attitude towards the consultation process that they have in place. Five public exhibition events were held by WPL last year but the lack of public awareness can be shown in the small number attending, approx. 130 people in total, with only 18 expressing a view on the pylon route.
Together with the above letter I also enclose a copy of St Modwen Plc's reply which together with the reply from WPL clearly shows that WPL?s approach to consultation is to forward a standard letter relating to process instead of answering genuine concerns and questions relating to the proposal. This is not unique, the same response relating to process and not answering questions has been used with other correspondents incl. in the enclosed letter to Ms Susan Jones MP.
To summarise, I firmly believe that the lack of correspondence with affected parties and the stock answers as evidenced in the enclosed correspondence is evidence that WPL are not adequately following consultation procedures.
I should be grateful if you could take into account the above evidence when coming to a conclusion with regard to WPL?s access requests

Advice given

In line with our policy as set out in Advice Note 5 (I have attached a copy for your information) only the affected owners or occupiers are being asked to comment on the current authorisation requests. We will not therefore be able to take account of your comments when we consider the request from Wrexham Power Ltd for access under Section 53 of the Planning Act.
The Planning Inspectorate can only comment on the requests before it. If you have concerns about Wrexham Power seeking access to your land we would advise you to contact them directly.
Until a development consent order (DCO) application is made to the Planning Inspectorate comments or queries about the development should be directed to the developer, Wrexham Power Limited . Please note that the applicant will have to undertake a formal consultation with the local community before submitting an application; we understand that this consultation has not yet begun. This consultation involves providing information about the proposal to various statutory and non statutory bodies and the wider community, responding to questions, listening to suggestions and taking these into account to influence and inform the application ultimately submitted.
Following submission of the DCO application, which we currently expect to be between September-December this year, and provided that it is accepted by the Inspectorate for examination, then you may wish to make a relevant representation to register as an Interested Party. This would allow you to take part in the examination of the proposal should you wish to do so. Please find links below to our advice notes 8.1, 8.2 and 8.3 which explain how to respond to the applicant's formal pre-application consultation and how to register as an Interested Party.
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Information about the proposed development can be found on the webpage for the project on the Planning Portal -
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