To consider a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment regarding an update on the current Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects that are planned within Hampshire.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Economy, Transport and Environment (item 9 in the minute book) regarding updates on current Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects that were being planned within Hampshire.
Members received an update following the previous one in May 2019, on the four projects:
Good progress had been made and the process is nearly at its end. The hope is that the examiner will agree with the recommendations in place.
This project is being dealt with as a Development Consent Order because the applicant referred it to the Secretary of State; an interconnector would not normally be defined as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project. The local authorities requested that the Secretary of State reconsider so it could be determined locally but this was unsuccessful. There are serious concerns regarding the expected disruptions as works could take 3-4 years to complete and are largely within the highway.
During questions of the officer, the following points were clarified:
Local members would continue to make representations to the planning inspector.
There had been a pre-application process for this consultation but submission of the application is currently delayed as design aspects are being revisited. A statement of common grounds for shared issues is planned for the County Council, Winchester, and the South Downs National Park. Visual impact issues have been noted, alongside other benefits and concerns. The County Council is generally supportive of the project from a transportation point of view
This project was subject to a pre-application consultation before Christmas. The County Council raised serious concerns about the location and compatibility with requirements of the Minerals and Waste Plan, though it will also be judged against the national renewable energy planning statement. There has been a comprehensive response to the consultation and the application is due to be submitted next month. There has been considerable opposition to the proposal and it has been discussed the House of Commons, which may have a bearing on progress. Members noted that representations could be made on this item, but not a decision and the effects are considerable in comparison with the output. There is a 28-day period for the proposal to be accepted after submission and a preliminary hearing would be set within 3 months. A website with updated information regarding this project would be shared with Members.
The Regulatory Committee noted the report.
There was no vote required for this item.