Wylfa Newydd Nuclear Power Station
What is the process for considering the aggregate impact of non material change requests that may, in aggregate, become material?
Dear Mr Dean
Thank you for your email.
In relation to your query, there is no legal definition of ‘material’ but the tests to apply are whether the change is substantial or whether the development now being proposed is not in substance that which was originally applied for. The former constitutes a material change which – provided there is sufficient time remaining in the Examination stage - can be accommodated as part of the Planning Act 2008 (PA2008) process. The latter constitutes a different project for which a new application would be required.
Whether a proposed change falls within either of these categories is a question of planning judgment which may be based on criteria including, for example, whether the change would generate a new or different likely significant environmental effect(s). Similarly, whether (and if so the extent to which) a change request involves an extension to the Order land, particularly where this would require additional Compulsory Acquisition powers eg for new plots of land and/ or interests. Further information about making a material change request can be found in paragraphs 109 to 115 of the Examination Guidance.
The submission of new or revised information before the Examination starts or during the Examination does not necessarily constitute a request to materially change an application. For example, following a decision to accept an application for examination, applicants are often issued with advice by the Planning Inspectorate which may identify errors, omissions and qualitative issues relating to the submitted application documentation. In response applicants may submit errata, amended application documents, plans or environmental information. During the course of the Examination the Examining Authority (ExA) may also request further information or written comments from an applicant or any Interested Party; new information may also be provided in response to an ExA’s written questions. Changes to the application documents may not necessarily result in changes to the underlying project.
The ExA is ultimately responsible for deciding whether new information submitted into the Examination by an applicant constitutes a material change to the application.
Further information about change requests can be found in the Inspectorate’s Advice Note Sixteen: How to request a change which may be material