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Sizewell C – The Planning Process

Sizewell C – The Planning Process

The Various Stages of the Planning Process for Sizewell C
The Government has decided that Sizewell C be classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). This means it is so big and nationally important that planning permission to build it must be given at national level by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. The planning application process is tightly prescribed and has 6 distinct stages:

1 Pre-application
2 Application/Acceptance
3 Pre-examination
4 Examination
5 Decision
6 Post-decision

A more detailed overview of the NSIP planning process can be found below:
Overview of the nationally significant infrastructure planning process for members of the public and others

Pre-application and Application/Acceptance
Before submitting a planning application for Sizewell C, the developer (EDF) is required to carry out consultation on their proposals. EDF initiated 4 consultations before submitting the application for Development Consent Order (DCO) to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) on 27 May 2020.  PINS formally accepted the application on 24 June 2020.  In November 2020, EDF launched a 30-day consultation on proposals to change the DCO.  In January 2021, EDF submitted its formal application to change the DCO.

Details of each of EDF’s consultation documents can be found on the EDF website:

Stage 1 Consultation (Nov 2012)
Stage 2 Consultation (Autumn/Winter 2016)
Stage 3 Consultation (Jan 2019)
Stage 4 Consultation (Summer 2019)  – 
DCO Application (27 May 2020)  –  PINS accepts Application on 24 June 2020
DCO Change Consultation (30 days to 18 December2020)
Targeted Consultation on Rail Noise impacts/mitigation (Houseboats) 30 days to 11 June 2021
Minor Changes Consultation, 30 days to 12 July 2021
Construction Water Supply Strategy Consultation, 3rd to 27th August 2021

Melton Parish Council’s formal responses to each of the consultations can viewed below:

Melton Parish Council Response to Sizewell C Stage 2 Consultation
Melton Parish Council Response to Sizewell C Stage 3 Consultation
Melton Parish Council Response to Sizewell C Stage 3 Consultation – Exec Summary
Melton Parish Council Response to Sizewell C Stage 4 Consultation
Melton Parish Council Response to Sizewell C DCO Change Consultation
Melton Parish Council’s response to Targeted Consultation on Rail Noise impacts/mitigation (Houseboats)
Melton Parish Council’s response to Construction Water Supply Strategy Consultation
Joint Town & Parish Councils’ response to Construction Water Supply Strategy Consultation

Pre-Examination Stage, 8 July to 30 September 2020
This stage was not a consultation.  It was an opportunity for consultees and the public to read the original application and register with PINS to become an “Interested Party”, thereby being kept informed of progress and of opportunities to have their say at the Examination stage. Melton Parish Council duly registered as an “Interested Party” and made two written submissions:

“Relevant Representation” statement 
Supporting Evidence paper on road transport problems

Melton Parish Council overall view is that the Sizewell C proposals will bring dis-benefits to the local environment that far outweigh the opportunities for investment and any legacy benefits accruing from its construction.

Examination, 15 April to 14 October 2021
The Planning Inspectorate’s Examining Authority (ExA) on 21 April 2021 approved in full EDF’s proposed DCO Changes and issued written confirmation of the timetable and action plan for examination of the planning application for Sizewell C.

The ExA’s current timetable can be reviewed here: SZC Examining Authority Deadlines and Timetable

All evidence and documentation relating to the examination of the planning application for Sizewell C can be viewed on the PINS website:

The Sizewell C Project | National Infrastructure Planning (planninginspectorate.gov.uk)

Melton Parish Council’s participations in the Examination process, including submissions of written evidence to the ExA, are listed below:

7 April 2021, Procedural Deadline B, Written feedback on the virtual Preliminary Meeting  Part 1 (23rd and 24th March)
12 May 2021, Deadline 1, Comments on Applicant’s draft itinerary for ASI and suggested locations for site inspections
12 May 2021, Deadline 1, Notification of wish to make oral representations at an Issue Specific Hearing (ISH)
18 May 2021, Open Floor Hearing
2 June 2021, Deadline 2, Written Representation
2 June 2021, Deadline 2, Summary of Written Representation
24 June 2021, Deadline 3, Comments on SCC’s Written Representation
24 June 2021, Deadline 3, Comments on SCC/ESC’s Local Impact Report
23 July 2021, Deadline 5, Issue Specific Hearing Representation on Traffic and Transport

The Examination is now closed.  The findings and conclusions arising from the Examination together with the Examining Authority’s (ExA) recommendations were to have been reported to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy by no later than 14 January 2022.  The Secretary of State subsequently granted the ExA an extension of six weeks to the Reporting stage. The Examining Authority issued a Recommendation Report to the Secretary of State on 25 February 2022.

On 16th February 2022, MPC submitted a final representation to the Secretary of State emphasising our opposition to EDF’s night train proposals and also summarising our positions on the wider Sizewell C planning application, particularly the latter’s all-important freight transport strategy.

In May 2022 a letter, signed by 36 Councils, was sent to Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy. It was formally complaining about the perceived prejudicial and inconsistent comments on Sizewell C and with regard to issues of community consent – Letter to Rt Hon K Kwarteng MP

Decision

Originally the Secretary of State had until the 25 May 2022  to make a decision on the SZC application, subject to the possibility of legal challenge.

On the 12 May the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a written ministerial statement concerning the application for a development consent order to build and operate Sizewell C. The statement made by Paul Scully, Minister for London and Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets notes that it has been decided to set a new deadline of no later than 8 July 2022 for deciding the application. This is to ensure there is sufficient time to fully consider further information provided by the applicant and interested parties in response to the Secretary of State’s post-examination consultation.
 
The decision to set the new deadline for this application is without prejudice to the decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent.
 

Update – July 2022

Paul Scully MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, announced a new deadline for the planning decision on Sizewell C.
 
You can find the statement here: Written statements – Written questions, answers and statements – UK Parliament.
 
The key part reads: “I have decided to set a new deadline of no later than 20 July 2022 for deciding this application. This is to ensure there is sufficient time to allow the Secretary of State to consider the proposal. The decision to set the new deadline for this application is without prejudice to the decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent.”

 

20th July 2022

The Sizewell C Project development consent decision announced

On 20th July 2022 the Sizewell C Project application was granted development consent by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.