Video transcript: How to take part at a Preliminary Meeting

This video explains what to expect at a Preliminary Meeting.

A Preliminary Meeting is held at the start of the Examination of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project or NSIP for short.

Applications for NSIPs are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination.

To take part at a Preliminary Meeting you should be registered as an Interested Party.

An Interested Party can also be someone with an interest in land affected by the project or a statutory organisation.

The Preliminary Meeting is a procedural meeting that considers how the application will be examined so a suitable timetable for the Examination can be set.

If you’re an Interested Party you will be sent a letter inviting you to the Preliminary Meeting which will also be published on our website.

It contains an agenda for the meeting and a draft timetable for how the Examination will proceed.

Interested Parties will receive their letter at least three weeks before the meeting.

The inspector or panel of up to five inspectors examining the application are in charge of the Preliminary Meeting.

The Inspector or Inspectors are called the Examining Authority.

They lead the meeting to ensure it runs smoothly under time allowing everyone a fair opportunity to have an appropriate say.

The Examining Authority will want to hear a wide range of views including what the key issues are what they need to consider when creating the Examination Timetable.

This however is not a hearing where the merits of the project are discussed.

There are a number of points to be aware of.

We hold meetings at suitable venues as close to the local area of the project as possible.

To ensure we can accommodate everyone you should let us know if you will be attending the meeting as soon as possible after receiving the invitation letter.

This letter will give details of how to do this and who to contact.

Whilst the meeting is open for everyone to attend, Interested Parties will be given priority if space is limited.

People who aren’t Interested Parties are not automatically entitled to speak during the meeting but the Examining Authority may allow them to do so.

Preliminary Meetings are usually held in a theatre style format.

If you are speaking you will be asked to speak into a microphone.

A hard copy of the documents submitted by the developers such as site plans or environmental information will be available to view.

Members of the Planning Inspectorate staff will usually be on hand to inform you where to sit and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

You may use social media or record the events, but this must be done responsibly and proper consideration for the other parties.

The Examining Authority might ask you to refrain if it is too distracting.

No individually recorded items may be relied on as evidence by any party or used in submissions.

A written note and audio recording is made of the meeting and will be made available for download on our website.

Following the Preliminary Meeting the Examination Timetable will be sent to Interested Parties and will also be available on our website.

Th close of the Preliminary Meeting marks the start of the Examination stage.

You will find further information on our website which includes many helpful advice notes and information about the application process.

Alternatively, our customer service team can provide advice over the phone on 0303 444 5000 or by email at [email protected].