M54 to M6 Link Road

The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.

M54 to M6 Link Road

Received 06 April 2020
From Osborne Clarke LLP on behalf of Western Power Distribution (West Midlands) PLC (Western Power Distribution (West Midlands) PLC )

Representation

Reference TR010054 1. Western Power Distribution (West Midlands) PLC (WPD) is the distribution network operator (DNO) for the electricity distribution network for the area in which the proposed development is situated. WPD is regulated as a licensed operator pursuant to Section 6 Electricity Act 1989. Under Section 9 Electricity Act 1989, WPD is under a duty to develop and maintain an efficient, co-ordinated and economical system of electricity distribution. 2. WPD's assets consist of high voltage electricity cables which are situated in the Order land. 3. Article 20 of the draft Development Consent Order (DCO) (Document Reference 3.1) provides power to the undertaker to compulsorily acquire the rights of WPD over any of the Order land and to extinguish or remove or reposition WPD's assets within the Order land. 4. Schedule 1 of the draft DCO sets out the authorised development. This includes the diversion of WPD's high voltage electricity cables (including an overhead cable) as referenced at works numbers 67 and 70 in the draft DCO. In addition to these works there are a significant number of plots over which WPD have an interest. The Book of Reference (Document Reference 4.3) records the plot numbers within which WPD's apparatus is situated. WPD are reviewing these plots to establish the extent to which their apparatus are affected. 5. Paragraph 7.4.1 of the Statement of Reasons (Document Reference 4.1) sets out the test that the undertaker must meet in order for the Secretary of State to be satisfied that the DCO may authorise the interference with WPD's equipment. 6. Protective provisions for the benefit of WPD have been included in Part 1 of Schedule 9 of the draft DCO. The applicant has approached WPD to discuss the terms of the diversions and WPD has engaged with the applicant to discuss an engineering solution to the diversions. The applicant has engaged with WPD on the terms of the draft DCO and the protective provisions. 7. As currently drafted WPD considers that the protective provisions are not in a form that is acceptable to WPD. Whilst WPD consider that it is likely that agreement on the applicability of the provisions can be reached, at this stage the test for the protection of serious detriment to WPD's assets as set out in the Statement of Reasons has not been satisfied. WPD cannot therefore agree at this stage that it will not suffer serious detriment to the carrying on of the undertaking as result of the compulsory acquisition of land rights or rights over land. 8. In particular WPD considers that the timing of the requirement to undertake the diversions and the obligations on WPD as set out in the protective provisions to complete diversions is uncertain. It is also uncertain whether the diversions can be completed by WPD without the need to acquire third party interests in land outside the Order land. The protective provisions place obligations on WPD to undertake works that places developer risk on to WPD. Without resolution therefore WPD objects to the form of protective provisions and the powers sought by the applicant to compulsory acquire its assets or interests in land over which they are placed. 9. WPD however intends to work with the applicant to resolve the issues of concern following which it should be in a position to confirm its agreement to the proposed development.