Cambridgeshire County Council is aware that Medworth CHP Ltd is proposing an Energy from Waste Combined Heat and Power (EfW CHP) project in the Medworth ward of Wisbech that will be determined by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The project falls into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) process defined through the Planning Act 2008 (as amended), and will be considered under Part 3 Section 14 of the legislation because the generating station is located in England and has a generating capacity of over 50 megawatts (see section 15(2) of the 2008 Act). Responsibility for accepting and examining the NSIP application rests with the Secretary of State and not the local authorities, who are identified as statutory consultees, or ‘host’ authorities, in the NSIP process.
The whole NSIP process from the formal submission of the application through to determination is normally in the region of 16 months. This is broken down as follows:
- 28 days for the Planning Inspectorate to accept the application;
- A flexible period for pre-examination of around 3 months*;
- A maximum of 6 months for the Examination;
- A further 3 months for a recommendation to be provided to the Secretary of State by the Planning Inspectorate; and
- 3 months for the Secretary of State to make a decision.
* As the pre-examination stage doesn’t have a formal timescale each project will be different, but nonetheless it does provide a useful starting point.
The role of the local authorities as statutory consultees can be summarised in three ways:
- Scrutinising the applicants assessment of the NSIP application;
- Offering technical advice as part of the consultation process; and
- Ensuring that adequate public consultation is carried out.
The local authorities will also be involved in producing Local Impact Reports (LIRs) which are technical documents setting out the evidence-based assessments of the impacts of the proposal on the communities affected ready for the Examination Stage.
As the proposal spans Cambridgeshire and Norfolk there are four ‘host’ authorities (Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council, Norfolk County Council and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk) involved in this NSIP project. All four ‘host’ planning authorities have undertaken to work together as far as possible to ensure full scrutiny of this project is undertaken.
It is important to note that as the ‘host’ planning authorities are not the determining authorities, any correspondence in relation to this matter needs to be directed to Medworth CHP Ltd in the first instance and then the Planning Inspectorate.
For further details of the NSIP process for this project, please visit the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) website.
Cambridgeshire County Council submitted a Technical Officer Response to the Medworth CHP Ltd Statutory Public Consultation in relation to the Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) which includes input in relation to air quality, carbon assessment (including waste need considerations), landscape/visual impacts, highway matters, noise, archaeology, ecology and planning matters etc.
This technical response focuses on the consultation documentation in line with the County Council’s previous pre-application advice. A copy of the Technical Officer Response provided to Medworth CHP Ltd on Friday 13 August 2021 is attached for ease of reference.
Following the submission of the Cambridgeshire County Council formal response to the Medworth CHP Ltd Statutory Consultation, an error was identified with regard to the calculations of vehicle movements on page 8 relating to the 'Traffic and Transport' Chapter of the PEIR.
The below Errata, giving an explanation of the error and its correction, was submitted to Medworth CHP Ltd on 20 August 2021 to correct the error and accompany the County Council's formal response.
On 21 July 2022, Cambridgeshire County Council submitted a formal response to the Planning Inspectorate on the Adequacy of Consultation undertaken by Medworth CHP Ltd. A copy of this Technical Officer Response is published below
On 4 October 2022, the Planning Inspectorate opened registration to become an interested party in connection with the Examination of the project and the period in which Relevant Representations can be submitted to the Inspectorate opened. The period for Relevant Representations closed on 15 November. Cambridgeshire County Council has registered as an interested party and, in their role as a Host Authority, prepared a Relevant Representation jointly with Fenland District Council on the technical aspects of the proposal.
This has now been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. A copy of our Relevant Representation is published below.
The full process for the Planning Inspectorate to determine the NSIP can be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s webpage for this project