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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

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)

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

Decision
On completion of the Examination, the ExA has 3 months to make a recommendation to the Minister, who then has up to 3 months to make a decision on the SZC application.  The current timetable could deliver a decision on SZC by mid-March 2022, subject to the possibility of legal challenge.