Horizon Nuclear Power has applied to the Planning Inspectorate for permission to build its lead project, Wylfa Newydd, on the Isle of Anglesey. It also submitted applications for four other key permits.
Horizon’s Development Consent Order (DCO) submission comprises some 41,000 pages, 440 documents and over 400 drawings all specifying the nuclear power station and associated work the company wants to develop at the Wylfa Newydd site as well as how it plans to go about it from a technical, logistical and social point of view.
In addition to the DCO, Horizon has also submitted key applications for a Marine Licence, Operations Combustion permit, Operations Water Discharge permit and Construction Water Discharge permit from Natural Resources Wales.
Duncan Hawthorne, CEO of Horizon, said: “This is an important day for Horizon. The applications are the product of an enormous amount of work and I’d like to thank the team for all the effort put into the submissions. I’d also like to thank our stakeholders and members of the public for their input.
“As we progress with the next phase of our permit applications, the hard work will continue, and I’m confident we have a great team in place to drive forward our progress.”
In order to obtain all the consents necessary to build the project, Horizon has sought to demonstrate that it has developed a robust design and assessed its environmental impacts across the power station facilities and associated developments and, where possible, eliminated, reduced or mitigated these impacts.
The Planning Inspectorate now has 28 days to decide whether the DCO application meets the robust standards that will enable it to be accepted for examination, including consideration of Horizon’s pre-application consultations which date back to 2014.
If the DCO is accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate, members of the public and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to comment on Horizon’s plans as part of the process. The DCO process takes approximately 17-18 months from submission to determination.
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Notes to Editors:
The Development Consent Order can be viewed here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/
About Horizon Nuclear Power
Horizon Nuclear Power was formed in 2009 to develop new nuclear power stations in the UK. It was acquired by Hitachi, Ltd. in November 2012. The company is developing plans to build at least 5,400MW of new nuclear power generation plant at Wylfa on the Isle of Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn in South Gloucestershire. Its power station sites will employ up to 850 people each once operational with construction workforces of up to 9,000.
About the Development Consent Order Process
The Planning Act 2008 (PA2008) process was introduced to streamline the decision-making process for major infrastructure projects, making it fairer and faster for communities and applicants alike.
The six stages in the process are:
Before submitting an application, potential applicants have a statutory duty to carry out consultation on their proposals. The length of time taken to prepare and consult on a project will vary depending upon its scale and complexity. Responding to an applicant’s Pre-application consultation is the best time to influence a project, whether you agree with it, disagree with it, or believe it could be improved.
The Planning Inspectorate cannot consider representations about the merits of a proposed application at the Pre-application stage of the process. For advice about how to engage with the process at the Pre-application stage read our Community Consultation FAQ.
The Acceptance stage begins when an applicant submits an application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate. There follows a period of up to 28 days (excluding the date of receipt of the application) for the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State, to decide whether or not the application meets the standards required to be accepted for examination.
At this stage, the public will be able to register with the Planning Inspectorate to become an Interested Party by making a Relevant Representation. A Relevant Representation is a summary of a person’s views on an application, made in writing. An Examining Authority is also appointed at the Pre-examination stage, and all Interested Parties will be invited to attend a Preliminary Meeting, run and chaired by the Examining Authority. Although there is no statutory timescale for this stage of the process, it usually takes approximately three months from the Applicant’s formal notification and publicity of an accepted application.
The Planning Inspectorate has up to six months to carry out the examination. During this stage Interested Parties who have registered by making a Relevant Representation are invited to provide more details of their views in writing. Careful consideration is given by the Examining Authority to all the important and relevant matters including the representations of all Interested Parties, any supporting evidence submitted and answers provided to the Examining Authority’s questions set out in writing or posed at hearings.
Recommendation and Decision
The Planning Inspectorate must prepare a report on the application to the relevant Secretary of State, including a recommendation, within three months of the close of the six month Examination stage. The relevant Secretary of State then has a further three months to make the decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent.
Once a decision has been issued by the relevant Secretary of State, there is a six week period in which the decision may be challenged in the High Court. This process of legal challenge is known as Judicial Review.
More information can be found here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/application-process/the-process/
About the Marine Licence and environmental permits
Unlike the DCO, the Marine Licence and environmental permits are granted by Natural Resources Wales.
The environmental permits required by Horizon are:
- Operations Combustion permit
- Operations Water Discharge permit
- Construction Water Discharge permit
Similarly to The DCO, these permits and licence applications are subject to an examination process which involves public consultation.
More information can be found here: https://naturalresources.wales/permits-and-permissions/marine-licensing/marine-licences/?lang=en