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Details

Status:
Implemented
Business Item
Development Consent Order Process for EDF Energy / Szc Co Sizewell C New Nuclear Power Station
Ref.
ES/0472
Is a Key Decision:
Yes
Decision Type:
Committee
Decision Maker:
Cabinet
Date of Decision
Mon 21 Sep 2020
Show on Forward Plan
Yes
Description
Report of the Deputy Leader  and Cabinet  Member  with responsibility for Economic Development
Matter for Decision (to consider...)

Submission of Relevant Representation by 30 September 2020 and delegated authority for responding to the Planning Inspectorate during the DCO process and negotiating a section 106 with the applicant.

 

Service Area
Planning & Coastal Management
Service Area 2
Not Applicable
Contact for Background Papers:
Philip Ridley
Background Papers:

Sizewell C application  documents  

 

ESC and SCC Phase 4 and 5 Consultation Responses  

Is Decision District Wide
No
Decision Made

1. That the Head of Planning and Coastal Management, in consultation with the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Development, be granted authority to fully engage with the Pre-examination and Examination stages of the Development Consent Order process in relation to the Sizewell C nuclear power station project. This will include:
Submission of Written Representations to expand upon the Relevant Representation where necessary,
Submission of a Local Impact Report,
Submission of Statements of Common Ground between the application and the Council,
Attending/authorising technical officers to participate at Preliminary Meetings/hearings/accompanied site visits,
Responding to Examining Authority’s questions and requests for further information,
Commenting on other interested parties’ representations and submissions as appropriate,
Signing planning obligations if required.
Any other requirements not yet identified.
Should the DCO be granted by the Secretary of State, this will include:
Discharge of requirements on the DCO.
Facilitating the Council’s responsibilities under any Section 106 agreement.
Consideration of any minor revisions to the DCO proposed via PINS.

2. That the Head of Planning and Coastal Management, in consultation with the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Economic Development, be authorised to include additional evidence to strengthen the draft Relevant Representation as agreed with the Leader of the Council prior to its submission to PINS.

3. That following agreement by the Cabinet of East Suffolk Council, the draft Relevant Representation set out in Appendix A and summarised below, subject to any agreed amendments, be submitted to PINS. 

4. That PINS be informed by the Relevant Representation that East Suffolk Council recognises the national benefit these projects will bring in meeting the low carbon energy targets and creating sustainable economic growth in Suffolk. However, this would need to be achieved without significant damage to the local built and natural environment, local communities and tourist economy. The Council has raised concerns on the following matters:
Landscape and Visual Effects
Flood Risk Assessment / Sea defences
Design and Masterplan
Freight management strategy / transport strategy
Cumulative Impacts
Measures to address residual impacts of the projects

The Council also has concerns or wishes to make representations in a number of additional areas which have been outlined below:
Socio-Economic Impacts
Air Quality
Public Rights of Way
Ecology
Coastal geomorphology
Archaeology
Construction Management including noise and vibration
East Suffolk Council is supportive of the principle of new nuclear development, recognising the strategic need for zero/low carbon energy and the contribution the industry can make to sustainable economic growth in Suffolk. This must however be achieved without significant damage to the environment, local communities and tourist economy of East Suffolk. The projects as designed to date will result in impacts as set out above, particularly in relation to the environment around the nuclear power stations site and associated development sites, and significant effects on the designated landscape.  

5. That this Council continues to engage with EDF Energy/SZC Co. to identify means by which the impact of the proposals can be mitigated and/or compensated if the developments do take place and seek appropriate s106 agreements to secure the necessary mitigation and/or compensation.

6. That the continued work with Government, namely MHCLG and BEIS with regards to the cumulative impacts on East Suffolk of the numerous energy projects existing and forthcoming be noted. 

The following decisions have been taken by the Cabinet and will come into effect immediately. 

Please note that the decision made by the Cabinet, will not be subject to Call-In, with the agreement of the Chairman of the Council and in accordance with the Council's Call-In procedures, as set out in the Council's Constitution.  The Constitution states:

“The call-in procedure set out above shall not apply where the decision being taken by the Cabinet is urgent.  A decision will be urgent if any delay likely to be caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the Council’s or the public interest. The record of the decision, and notice by which it is made public, shall state whether, in the opinion of the decision-making person or body, the decision is an urgent one, and therefore not subject to call-in. The Chairman of the Council must agree both the decision proposed is reasonable in all the circumstances and to it being treated as a matter of urgency.”

As a statutory consultee, the Cabinet will consider and agree the final version of the Relevant Representation (RR) at its meeting of 21 September 2020. Cabinet decisions may be subject to call-in by the Scrutiny Committee, and if called-in, cannot be implemented until the Scrutiny Committee have considered the matter.   

If the Cabinet decision was to be called in, there would be insufficient time for the Scrutiny Committee to meet and consider the matter before the deadline for the submission of the RR on 30.9.20. Therefore, Cabinet’s decision could not be implemented, or the RR submitted, before the deadline of 30.9.20. 

To not submit the ESC’s RR before the deadline would mean that the ESC could not take part in the examination process. It’s views in the RR on the DCO would not be taken into account. Therefore, the delay caused by the call-in process would seriously prejudice the ESC’s position. It would also seriously prejudice the public interest, as the views of a statutory consultee would not be heard, and the many issues which the ESC wish to highlight, and have taken into account, should the DCO be consented, would not be made to the examiner, or to the Secretary of State. 

Given that any delay likely to be caused by the call in process would seriously prejudice the ESC’s position, or the public interest, then, the Cabinet decision of 21.9.20 is urgent, and will not, therefore, be subject to call-in.

 
Reason for Decision
It is important for East Suffolk Council to be able to be proactive and reactive on very short timetables throughout the DCO process particularly during the six-month examination section where the ability to respond quickly to questions raised by the Examining Authority (PINS) is essential. Delegated Authority is therefore being sought to facilitate the ability to fully engage with the pre-examination and examination stages of the DCO process. This is in accordance with the recommendations set out in PINS Advice Note 2 which states:

“During the examination there will be numerous deadlines for local authorities and other interested parties to submit further representations. These often require swift responses to ensure all matters can be fully explored before the close of examination”.

“A local authority will therefore need to ensure it has appropriate delegations in place. There is unlikely to be time to seek committee approval for representations made by a local authority during the examination. In general terms a local authority must assume that it won’t be possible for the examination timetable to be structured around its committee cycle” (paragraph 12.3).

The recommendations also present the Council’s proposed position heading into the Examination on the Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station project based on the published documentation in relation to the applications. 
 
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Alternative options were considered in the early stages of proposals and during the rounds of public consultation but at this stage we are presented with the project proposals, it is not for the Council to consider alternative options to that provided by EDF Energy/SZC Co. in their proposals. 

Cabinet had the opportunity to consider a different stance on some of the issues raised in the draft Relevant Representation.

Cabinet had the opportunity to decide at this time to either object or support the project or early Relevant Representation. However, at this early stage of the DCO process it is considered that neither of these are appropriate at this early stage. Whilst there are a number of issues unresolved, it is considered to be preferable for the Council to work collaboratively with EDF Energy/SZC Co. on resolving these in the run-up to and during the Examination with our overall aim being to shape proposals to improve the proposals for East Suffolk.  
 
Any Declarations of Interest Declared
Councillor Mallinder declared a Local Non Pecuniary Interest as he was the Vice Chairman of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Joint Advisory Committee.
Any Dispensation Granted
None.

Decision Criteria

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Wards

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Topics

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Overview and Scrutiny

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Decision History

DateTimeCreatedUserFullnameStatusDescriptionDetails
12
 Page 1 of 2, items 1 to 10 of 16.
17/08/2020 12:04:53Karen CookBusiness Item Created 
17/08/2020 12:04:53Karen CookCommittee AddedCabinet
17/08/2020 12:04:53Karen CookMeeting Added21/09/2020 6:30PM
17/08/2020 12:05:11 General Details EditedReference Number Generated (ES/0472)
17/08/2020 12:05:11Karen CookStatus ChangedDecision Scheduled [1]
26/08/2020 09:17:27Karen CookGeneral Details Edited 
09/09/2020 08:57:43Karen CookGeneral Details Edited 
10/09/2020 09:57:53Matt MakinReport AddedDocument ID 6869: ES-0472 Development Consent Order Process for EDF Energy
22/09/2020 10:42:46Nicola WottonGeneral Details Edited 
22/09/2020 10:52:51Nicola WottonGeneral Details Edited 

Approval/Comments

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