Gaining consent for major infrastructure requires applications to be prepared of the highest caliber. I have led the preparation of planning documents for the development industry to promote new projects. This has focused upon a thorough consideration of relevant policy and completion of relevant assessments to ensure that the impacts, both positive and negative, are appropriately reported. My approach is to develop a project that is deliverable once consented.
Able Marine Energy Park Development Consent Order 2014, Able UK
This Development Consent Order relates to a nationally significant infrastructure facility for the manufacture, assembly, storage and transportation of offshore renewable energy infrastructure.
I advised the team that prepared the planning and EIA elements of the Able Marine Energy Park DCO application, for which the Secretary of State for Department of Transport issued decision to grant development consent in December 2013. I consequently supported Able UK through the Special Parliamentary Proceedings, including at the Joint Committee Hearings. My focus was on preparing the planning case and working other members of the support team, including other consultants. The Committee concluded there was no case to answer and the DCO describing ‘a quay on the south bank of the River Humber at Killingholme in North Lincolnshire, together with an ecological compensation scheme comprising habitat creation on the opposite bank of the river’ was granted in 2014.
Hinkley C Connection Project, National Grid
National Grid has submitted a DCO application to create a new 400kV transmission line from the Hinkley C new nuclear power station to the Seabank substation, in Severnside, South Gloucestershire. A full socio-economic impact assessment, including amenity assessment, was prepared as part of the Environmental Statement submitted.
Having previously advised the team, I became fully involved in this project post-submission. My tasks include: responding to the Examining Authorities’ written questions; responding to Relevant and Written Representations; preparing technical notes for the wider team and Counsel; meeting with the local authorities and preparing the Statement of Common Ground; and appearing as witness at the Issue Specific Hearings.
Llandinam Windfarm Repowering Distribution, SPManweb
SP Manweb submitted an application under s.37 of the Electricity Act 1989 to construct and operate a new distribution line to link the re-powered Llandinam Wind Farm to the Welshpool substation.
I was retained to support SP Manweb through public inquiry, appearing as expert witness on matters of policy, planning and need. She reviewed the case made within the planning application and updated it as required, addressing specific matters of Welsh policy and the relationship with the National Policy Statements. My proof of evidence incorporated the consideration of alternatives (addressing the expectations of NPS EN-1) and factors particular to electricity network operators set out in the Electricity Act and the Holford Rules.
Bicester to Oxford Rail Improvements, Network Rail and Chiltern Railway Company Limited
Having worked on the application submission and appeared as expert witness during the inquiry, ERM Ltd is now working with Network Rail and Chiltern Railway Company Limited to discharge the commitments of the consent.
I directed the planning submissions required to discharge the commitments of the TWA Order and deemed planning permission. This required a rapid familiarisation with the scheme and requirements of the consent, and close working with technical colleagues to ensure appropriate details were submitted to enable efficient discharge.