808: Yorkshire power station granted consent
Today’s entry reports on the latest decision on a Development Consent Order application.
On Thursday, seven days before the end of the allotted three months, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy granted a Development Consent Order (DCO) for a gas-fired power station at Eggborough, North Yorkshire.
It’s becoming a trend, the title of the DCO was amended from The Eggborough CCGT (Generating Station) Order to the Eggborough Gas Fired Generating Station Order.
Here are the facts and figures:
- project: a 2500 gas-fired power station on the site of a coal-fired one, south of Selby, North Yorkshire;
- promoter: Eggborough Power Ltd;
- application made: 30 May 2017;
- one inspector, Richard Allen (his second, first as a sole inspector);
- 19 relevant representations, very low;
- four written representations, very low;
- 206 questions in the first round, average;
- no compulsory acquisition hearings, two issue specific hearings and no open floor hearings – equal lowest;
- one Local Impact Report, jointly from Selby and North Yorkshire;
- examination exactly six months, recommendation exactly three months, decision a week short of three months;
- 479 days from application to decision, 15 1/2 months, below average; and
- 337 documents on the Planning Inspectorate web page on the date of the decision (not including the relevant representations), below average.
In another short decision letter (14 pages), here are the points I noted.
The power station makes provision for carbon capture and storage, and combined heat and power.
Despite being quite far inland, it still has a Deemed Marine Licence, because some of the construction was in the tidal section of the River Aire. The water doesn’t need to be salty to need a DML, just tidal.
Interesting statement by the Crown Commissioners in a letter published a month ago:
‘As you are aware, the Commissioners disagree with any view that section 135(1) of the Planning Act 2008 provides that any provision authorising the acquisition of third party interests in Crown land may only be included in a development consent order if the unconditional consent of the appropriate Crown body to the acquisition is obtained before the development consent order is made.’
Tricky to obtain consent from a body that doesn’t believe it needs to give it. I think that a definitive position on Crown consent could be something for NIPA to consider in discussion with the Crown Commissioners and PINS.
On a dispute between the applicant and the Canal & River Trust over the wording of protective provisions, the government sided with the CRT, saying:
‘The applicant’s suggested wording would place an unreasonable and unjustified burden on CRT, which would face a risk of potential costs and losses through no fault of its own.’
The inspector nearly recommended that the application be refused, had it not been for two changes of approach by the applicant: that the existing coal-fired power station would definitely be demolished, and that a financial contribution towards biodiversity improvements was to be made, even though the project already showed ‘a very small biodiversity gain’. See paragraphs 4.21.12 and 8.9.2 of the inspector’s report.
In other news an application was made for improvements to the A63, Castle Street in Hull yesterday. Including withdrawn applications and re-submissions as two applications – PINS does collect the application fee twice, after all – that marks the 100th application to be made since the regime started.
That is the last decision we can expect this year – the next one isn’t due until 20 February 2019, for the Tilbury2 harbour project.