Press release

Atlantic Array Offshore Wind Farm proposal

How to register and make a representation about the Atlantic Array Offshore Wind Farm proposal application

Since 26 July 2013 interested members of the public have been able to register with the Planning Inspectorate and make a representation about the application from Channel Energy Limited for the proposed Atlantic Array offshore wind farm.

The application was accepted by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State to proceed to examination on 12 July 2013. Channel Energy Limited announced that the period during which those interested in the proposal can register with the Planning Inspectorate is between 26 July and 16 September 2013.

People can register easily online by visiting the Atlantic Array Offshore Wind Farm Projct page. If they are unable to register online they may call the Planning Inspectorate, National Infrastructure helpline: 0303 444 5000 to request a printed registration form.

To help people understand how to the process works, Planning Inspectorate staff will be holding drop-in events in the local area to answer questions and explain how to register and make a representation about the application.

Drop–in times and locations:

Wednesday 4 September

Torridge District Council, Riverbank House, Bideford (Committee Room) (Drop-in: 2pm - 5pm and 6pm - 8:30pm / presentation approx 6:30pm) Full address: Torridge District Council Riverbank House Bideford Devon EX39 2QG

Thursday 5 September

The Ilfracombe Centre, Ilfracombe (Drop-in: 2pm - 5pm and 6pm - 8:30pm / presentation approx 6:30pm) Full address: The Ilfracombe Centre 44 High Street Ilfracombe EX34 8AL

Friday 6 September

The Civic Centre, City and County of Swansea (Committee Room 1) (Drop-in: 1pm - 4pm and 5pm-7:30pm / presentation approx 6:30pm) Full address: City and County of Swansea Civic Centre Oystermouth Road Swansea SA1 3SN

The Planning Inspectorate is not able to discuss the merits of the application at these events.

Sir Michael Pitt, Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate said “This is an opportunity for people to play a part in the planning process and influence the outcome. We encourage people to get involved by registering as an interested party. By doing so, people will be able to participate fully in the examination of this proposal. Those who register will be entitled to provide evidence in writing to support their representation, to attend the preliminary hearing, to request an open floor hearing and to speak at other hearings where appropriate.

A copy of the application together with further information about the proposal and how to register to make a relevant representation is available on the Planning Inspectorate website:

Ends Journalists wanting further information should contact the Planning Inspectorate Press Office, on: 0303 444 5004 or 0303 444 5005 or email: pressoffice@pins.gsi.gov.uk

Notes to editors:

  • From April 2012, the relevant Secretary of State became the decision maker on all national infrastructure applications for development consent. At the end of the examination of an application, which will still be completed within a maximum of six months, the Planning Inspectorate will have 3 months to make a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State who will then have a further 3 months to reach their decision.
  • The Planning Inspectorate, National Infrastructure Programme of Projects details the proposals which are anticipated to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate as applications in the coming months.

The process in a snapshot

There are six key stages within the process. The summary below provides examples of when and how people have an opportunity to provide evidence to the Planning Inspectorate.

Pre-application

Key activities:

  • Project development / developer’s pre-application consultation and publicity
  • Environmental impact assessment preparation and scoping, where required

Public involvement:

  • Have their say on the proposal to the developer through their pre application consultation

Acceptance by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State

Key activities:

  • The Secretary of State has 28 days from the day after receipt to decide whether or not an application should be accepted for examination

Public involvement:

  • Details will be posted at the Planning Inspectorate’s website on how to register as an interested party – once an application has been accepted for examination and publicised by the developer
  • Opportunity to legally challenge a decision not to accept an application

Pre-examination

Key activities:

  • Single Inspector or a Panel of three or more Inspectors appointed
  • Preliminary Meeting called and held
  • Procedure and timetable set for examination

Public involvement:

  • Register to say what you agree or disagree with in the application
  • Submit your representation
  • View application documents submitted by the developer on the Planning Inspectorate website
  • Attend the Preliminary Meeting
  • Say how the examination should be conducted

Examination

Key activities:

  • A maximum of six months to carry out the examination

Public involvement:

  • Submit more detailed comments in writing
  • Comment on what other people have said
  • Request and attend an open-floor hearing
  • If being held, request to speak at open-floor and / or issue specific hearing(s)
  • Comment on the local authority’s Local Impact Report - detailing the impact of the scheme on the local area

Decision

Key activities:

  • A maximum of three months for Planning Inspectorate to issue a recommendation to the relevant Secretary of State, with a statement of reasons
  • The relevant Secretary of State then has a further three months from receiving the recommendation in which to issue the decision

Post decision

Key activities:

  • six weeks for any legal challenge

Public involvement:

  • opportunity to challenge