North Killingholme Power Project
On the 28 August 2013 the applicant submitted by email and hard copy a letter together with the following attachments:
1) Update submission;
2) Withdrawal of land from the Order limits submission, plot number annex to that submission and three accompanying plans; and
The Planning Inspectorate returned the submission to the applicant accompanied by advice dated 29 August 2013.
The applicant subsequently requested that the decision to return the submission be reconsidered for the following reasons:
1) As explained, the documents submitted on the 28 August were submitted in order to assist the Examining Authority ("ExA") and other interested parties so that parties may be made aware of the matters raised in the covering letter. This is in the interests of good administration and allows all parties to make properly informed submissions.
2) The submission in respect of withdrawal of certain land from the Order limits constitutes a formal submission on a procedural matter on which a ruling by the ExA is required. It does not amount to evidence. The plans and annex of plot numbers which accompanying it are necessary to understand the submission being made and are an essential part of it that cannot be removed from the submission - they represent the substance of the request contained in the submission.
3) Our objective in providing the document was to enable submissions from other parties at the Preliminary Meeting from an informed point of view. Were the ExA to deal with this by inviting submissions from the interested parties in their written representations (i.e. only after the process had begun), it would be causing parties to expend resources unnecessarily when this can be dealt with at the Preliminary Meeting.
4) As already noted, the submission is a purely procedural submission and does not constitute evidence. However, if (contrary to our submission above) it is considered that the text of the document contains matters of evidence, we would be happy to review the submission and strip out any such matters or supporting statements.
5) In relation to the other documents submitted, the photomontage was not provided as evidence but to show that progress was being made, as requested by the ExA. Further, the update document was sent in advance of the Preliminary Meeting to make best use of time at the Preliminary Meeting, and was provided in relation to agenda item 5 of Annex B to the Rule 6 letter and in accordance with the Chairman of the ExA's direction that "work on such issues need not, and should not, wait until the Examination commences?"
Advice dated 29 August 2013:
Please note that we can not accept new evidence prior to the Preliminary Meeting, such as the land plans and photomontage you have attached.
The Rule 6 letter states that Appendix B sets out some specific issues on which the Examining Authority will request a progress report from the applicant and from other parties, where relevant, to be given at the Preliminary Meeting. The letter goes on to state that although work on such issues need not, and should not, wait until the Examination commences, the ExA will expect to be informed at the Preliminary Meeting of the progress that has been made.
Furthermore, Annex A of the Rule 6 states that if a party wishes to make any submissions on matters not set out in the agenda and which they think would enhance the discussion at the Preliminary Meeting, they should write to the Case Manager setting out the submissions that they wish to make by 5pm on 28 August 2013.
To clarify, this was a request for any additional agenda items, it was not a request for the submission of new evidence in support of those items, or any other items, prior to the Preliminary Meeting.
Therefore, as evidence can not be submitted at this stage of the process, we have returned your electronic and hard copy submissions.
However, we do note your intention to raise the withdrawal of certain land from the Order limits at the Preliminary Meeting. We also note the list you have provided of those who will attend the Preliminary Meeting.
Subsequent advice and clarification dated 3 September 2013:
As you are aware it is for the ExA to decide the procedure at the preliminary meeting and the matters to be discussed. As explained in the email of 29 August, the ExA requested a progress report and will no doubt find helpful the information which you have provided in your update document. It is agreed that your submission in respect of the withdrawal of land from the Order limits is a request for a procedural ruling in relation to an amendment to the application. This request has been drawn to the attention of the ExA who will want to ensure that it is properly considered and will decide how much time should be allocated at the preliminary meeting to hearing representations about timetabling a decision on the ruling request. However, the ExA does not intend to make a procedural decision about the proposed change itself in advance of or at the preliminary meeting and is not intending to take representations from attendees at the preliminary meeting about the substantive issues. In the interests of fairness and transparency and efficient management of the preliminary meeting the documents were therefore returned to you so that there is a level playing field and the ExA can, following the preliminary meeting, notify all interested parties at the same time about the ruling request, how the documents will be made available and when a decision on the ruling will be made.
In regards to the photomontage, the ExA's direction was that "work on such issues need not, and should not, wait until the Examination commences and [the ExA] will expect to be informed at the Preliminary Meeting of the progress that has been made". Therefore, the ExA requested a progress report at the Preliminary Meeting, rather than prior to it. Moreover, in the interests of fairness, transparency and the efficient management of the preliminary meeting, the photomontage was returned to you so that the ExA can, following the preliminary meeting, notify all interested parties at the same time about the appropriate deadlines for submission of such documents, and the period for interested parties to comment on them.