Today's entry reports on the application for a new nuclear
power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
On 31 October 2011, EdF Energy applied to what was the
Infrastructure Planning Commission and is now the Planning
Inspectorate for consent to build a new nuclear power station at
Hinkley Point in Somerset (Hinkley Point C).
Today, the lead inspector of a panel of five, Andrew Phillipson,
has written to parties interested in the application to announce
that the examination of the application has closed today, 21
September. The letter is here.
The examination took one day short of the maximum six months
allowed. The panel of inspectors now have three months to
make a recommendation to Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy
and Climate Change, who then has a further three months to make a
decision. That means that the decision whether or not to grant EdF
Energy's application must be made by 21 March 2013.
When the inspectors make their recommendation it is not made
public, although the fact that they have made a recommendation
is. When the Secretary of State makes his decision, the
reasons for the decision will be given, along with the
The examination continued up to the wire - the last request for
information had a deadline of two days ago - but it is
impressive that it has all been achieved within the six-month
deadline. Everyone except the inspectors can now have a
Innovia challenge ends
In other news, I have learnt that last month Innovia Cellophane
had their appeal to the Court of Appeal dismissed. Innovia is
a landowner in Somerset whose land is proposed to be used for
temporary accommodation for workers building the power station. The
case was the issue about whether the temporary accommodation
counted as 'dwellings' and therefore couldn't properly
be the subject of an application under the Planning Act and in turn
the landowner couldn't be compelled to let the promoter onto
its land to survey it.
Ironically, time has marched on since the judicial review was
first launched in June 2011. The Localism Act 2011 amended
the Planning Act regime to extend the ability to require entry onto
land for surveying beyond land expected to be subject to comuplsory
purchase. The government has also hinted that housing might
be added to the categories of nationally significant infrastructure
project as part of the review of the regime categories and
thresholds that they have decided to undertake. Both these
features would make a future challenge along the same lines
As one application ends, another starts. Apparently EdF
Energy has taken the first step towards an application for a new
nuclear power station at Sizewell on the Suffolk coast. The
company has sent a draft of its Statement of Community Consultation
to the relevant local authorities for comment. They have 28
days to respond, and the main pre-application consultation will be
launched in November.
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