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. The dates of EDF’s five consultations are as follows:

1st  – Nov 2012
2nd – Autumn/Winter 2016
3rd – Jan 2019
4th  – Summer 2019
5th  – November 2020 (Changes to DCO)

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

Melton Parish Council Response to Sizewell C 1st Consultation
Melton Parish Council Response to Sizewell C 2nd Consultation
Melton Parish Council Response to Sizewell C 3rd Consultation – Exec Summary
Melton Parish Council Response to Sizewell C 4th Consultation
Melton Parish Council Response to Sizewell C 5th Consultation  (Changes to DCO)

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
Following a preliminary meeting that ran for 3 days, the Planning Inspectorate’s Examining Authority (ExA) on 21 April 2021 issued written confirmation of the arrangements for examination of the planning application for Sizewell C:

  • The ExA’s timetable and action plan can be viewed in Appendix A
  • The ExA has approved in full EDF’s proposals to change its original planning application (these were the proposals subjected to a 30-day public consultation in November and December 2020)

All the 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)

The original planning application, dated 27 May 2020, for a DCO for Sizewell C can be viewed at  https://sizewellcdco.co.uk

The January 2021 changes to the original planning application were agreed by the ExA and can be viewed on the PINS website:

https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/the-sizewell-c-project/

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.

EDF Energy
Melton Parish Council is concerned about a highly critical report (October 2019) on EDF Energy that was commissioned by the French Government. Further details of the report and the Parish Council’s enquiries with the UK Office of Nuclear Regulation, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the CEO of EDF Energy, can be found here: Sizewell C – EDF Energy lacking a ‘Culture of Quality’