Submitting our application

Our team is now working to prepare the documents to support our application for development consent. This includes an Environmental Statement, which assesses the potential environmental impact of the project and details measures that would be taken to reduce those impacts. We aim to submit our application to the Planning Inspectorate in late spring of this year.

Although the final pipeline route has been selected, we encourage anyone with questions on the next phases of the project to get in touch with us. We will continue to monitor the project email address and phone line throughout the Development Consent Order process, so we can respond to your enquiries. We will also continue to keep you updated on the project via the website and e-newsletter.

The Development Consent Order process

Once we submit our application for development consent, there are several stages in the process before a decision is taken by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Planning Act 2008 sets out a timetable lasting up to 18 months in which the application will be considered by the Planning Inspectorate and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Application assessment

Starting from the date our application is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, there is a period of up to 28 days for the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to decide if our application is complete and meets the necessary standards and can be progressed.

If accepted, all our application documents will be published on the Planning Inspectorate website and the application will then move to the next stage.

Pre-examination stage

Our application then enters a pre-examination stage lasting approximately three months. At this stage, an Examining
Authority is appointed, and the public is able to register with the Planning Inspectorate to become an “Interested Party” by making a Relevant Representation. A Relevant Representation is a summary of a person’s views on an application, made in writing. We will publicise that the application has been accepted by the Planning Inspectorate and include details of when and how parties can register to become Interested Parties. The time period for registering will be set by the project, but it must be no less than 28 days.

Examination

A preliminary meeting will be held to discuss how the application will be examined and to create a timetable for
examination. The date of the meeting is set by the Examining Authority and will be held at a venue along the route of the replacement underground pipeline.

The Examining Authority has a maximum of six months to carry out the examination. During this stage, Interested Parties are invited to provide more details of their views in writing and the Examining Authority will also ask written questions. Interested Parties will also be able to attend the various hearings that will be held as part of the Examination Phase.

Post-examination report

Within three months of the close of the examination, the Examining Authority will prepare a report on the examination,
including a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Decision

Following receipt of the Examining Authority’s Recommendation Report, the Secretary of State has a further three months
to make the decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent. There are further details about this final step on the Planning Inspectorate website.

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