Little Crow Solar Park
Please see attached.
Good afternoon Thank you for your email of 6 April 2021 and accompanying letter of 29 March 2021. With regard to your proposed revised timetable, that will be a matter for the Examining Authority to consider at the Preliminary Meeting. We advise that the Examination process for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs) is predominantly a written one, with the ExA taking on an inquisitorial role. The Examination of an NSIP application therefore differs from a planning appeal, with the latter being determined following a more adversarial procedure. During ISHs, the ExA will ask questions of the Applicant and IPs; these parties IPs or the Applicant will then be given the opportunity to comment on the answers given to the ExA’s questions. The questions that the ExA may raise at any ISH will be based on an agenda that will be published on the specific project webpage of the National Infrastructure website in advance of the relevant hearing. As the Examination process is predominantly a written one, the ExA has the opportunity to raise written questions; the draft timetable for the Little Crow Solar Park project allows for the asking of up to four rounds of written questions by the ExA. These written questions will be directed to the Applicant, specific IPs or a combination of both. Subsequent deadlines in the timetable will allow for these parties to make written responses to the answers given to a preceding round of written questions. The first scheduled round of written questions would follow ISH1 and are likely to be published by the ExA no later than 28 April 2021. Part of the function of the first round of written questions will be to enable the ExA to seek clarifications or additional information further to the answers provided by the Applicant and IPs at ISH1. The questions that the ExA will raise at ISH1 will be based on the originally submitted application documents, together with Additional Submissions AS-002 to AS-004 (as listed in the published Examination Library for this case) and the Relevant Representations (RR) that have been submitted by IPs. In advance of ISH1, the Applicant will therefore not have the opportunity to submit any new documentation. Following the Preliminary Meeting and ISH1, at Deadline 1 (10 May) all IPs (in addition to submitting written submissions for the oral cases they make at ISH1) will have the opportunity to: a) Submit written representations, building upon their Relevant Representations; and b) Answer any written questions that the ExA may ask of them. Please note that it is for the ExA rather than IPs to request the submission of documentation by the Applicant. However, in response to written submissions made by IPs during the course of the Examination, the ExA may request that the Applicant submits documentation to assist with its understanding of issues that arise as part of the application’s Examination. With respect to participation in the Examination, please note that it is not a requirement for all IPs to make submissions at every deadline within the timetable, however there may be occasions within the timetable when a response is required from specific IPs, e.g. as part of one of the ExA’s Written Questions, whereby a question(s) is directed to that specific party. Please also note that as the Examination progresses it may be that the ExA has no questions for the Applicant or IPs in respect to a given topic. This does not mean that topic is unimportant, rather the position with respect to any such topic areas will be that the ExA may consider that its understanding of the Applicant’s and IPs’ cases would not be enhanced through the asking of additional questions or inviting further comment. Your letter of 6 April and this response will be published on the website for this application. Yours sincerely