This is entry number 267, published on 10 August 2011, of a blog on the Planning Act 2008 infrastructure planning and authorisation regime. Click here for a link to the whole blog.

Today’s entry reports on the way in which the examination of applications by the Infrastructure Planning Commission is developing.

On Friday 5 August, the panel of commissioners examining the second live application before the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) (for the Brig y Cwm energy from waste project) issued a note of the meeting held about the application on 29 July, including a revised examination timetable starting on page 4.

The first timetable issued for the examination of the first application (for the Rookery South energy from waste project) only had eight stages in it - the latest timetable for the second application has 31 stages in it.  Why is it so much longer?

There are several reasons for this.  First, there are a lot of additional deadlines relating to the three types of hearing that can take place.  These were not listed in the Rookery South timetable although were mentioned on the previous page of the document containing the timetable.  Secondly, the Brig y Cwm timetable included some extra steps to consider the changes to the project made by the promoter.  Thirdly, there are also some new steps that have been added.  Here are more details of the extra steps and any changes.

Hearing-related deadlines

  • There are many new dates given relating to the three types of hearing that can be held: open floor hearings, issue specific hearings and compulsory acquisition hearings.
  • There is a deadline for suggestions for venues for the open floor hearing.
  • The deadlines relating to the open floor hearing, including the holding of it, are a couple of months earlier than for Rookery South - the other types of hearing are at around the same stage in the process.
  • There are deadlines for submitting summaries of cases put at the hearings (usually the day after they take place)
  • Some hearings are timetabled already (e.g. an issue-specific hearing on air quality), some just have dates reserved if necessary.

Other additions

  • On the Rookery South application, representations during the objection period were limited to 500 words (although some didn't stick to this) and there was an opportunity to submit fuller representations later.  The Brig y Cwm timetable repeats this but additionally allows comments to be made by others on the original representations as well as the later fuller ones.
  • There are new deadlines relating to an accompanied site visit.
  • There are two new deadlines for anyone to propose amendments to the Development Consent Order, requirements and s106 undertakings
  • The deadline for submitting statements of common ground has been moved a couple of months later

The major deadlines for making submissions remain similar and are:

  • 12 September for commenting on representations, making full representations, submitting Local Impact Reports and responding to the panel's first set of questions.
  • 10 October for commenting on fuller representations, LIRs and responses to questions
  • 21 November for responses to panel's second set of questions, and statements of common ground

With two more applications starting the examination process soon, I will be tracking the next stages in the evolution of the examination process - or whether it is not an evolution at all but a series of independent interpretations of the procedure.