Wylfa Newydd Nuclear Power Station
1. Is the submission of one WFD Compliance Assessment to cover the DCO, environmental permit and marine licence applications acceptable to PINS?
2. If a case is to be made under Article 4(7) of the WFD, can the preparation of the Article 4(7) case can made post-submission?
3. If the WFD Compliance Assessment concludes that an Article 4.7 case will need to be made, please could you advise what the regulatory relationship is between NRW and PINS? Who will the ‘competent authority’ preparing the case for the DCO?
4. When will the WFD guidance note is likely to be published?
1. The Secretary of State (SoS) is the decision maker for determining any DCO application and as such would be the appropriate authority in respect of the WFD. The SoS has an obligation to ensure that the requirements of the WFD are met and Applicant’s need to provide suitable information to support the appropriate authority in meeting this requirement. If it is possible to do this through the submission of a single WFD compliance assessment then there is no obvious reason to prevent this from taking place. However, as with all other application documents, it will be important that the document is clear in describing the likely significant effects applicable to each consent sought. This is particularly important as the assessment undertaken by relevant appropriate authorities needs to be certain where necessary mitigation is required and how this will be appropriately secured.
2. The Infrastructure Planning (Applications: Prescribed Forms and Procedure) Regulations 2009 (as amended), require Applicants to submit ‘where applicable, a plan with accompanying information identifying… water bodies in a river basin management plan…together with an assessment of any effects on such sites, features, habitats or bodies likely to be caused by the proposed development’. There is therefore no specific requirement for an Applicant to submit supporting information to an Article 4(7) derogation with an application. However, the Planning Inspectorate is aware that a derogation in accordance with Article 4.7 requires significant and often complex evidence to be made available and assessed. The Planning Inspectorate considers that it is critical that the potential requirement for Article 4.7 derogation is considered as early as possible in the pre-application stage of the PA2008 process. Applicants should engage early with the appropriate agencies for WFD, NRW in respect of Wylfa. NRW should be able to provide advice on the necessary information that is required to inform the Article 4.7 derogation tests. The Inspectorate also strongly encourages Applicants to seek the comments of the appropriate agencies on draft documents where Article 4.7 tests are to be engaged during the pre-application process.
3. NRW is a statutory consultee under the DCO process and an appropriate agency in respect of WFD, they will no doubt provide their expert opinion to an examining authority during an examination. The examining authority will make a recommendation and it is ultimately for the SoS to make the decision on whether to grant development consent.
4. The advice note has been published today at the following link attachment 1.