Southampton to London Pipeline Project.
On the 14th May 2019 Esso submitted a Development Consent Order (DCO) application for the Southampton to London Pipeline Project to the Planning Inspectorate. The project proposes to replace 90km of the 105km underground aviation fuel pipeline that runs from the Fawley Refinery near Southampton to the West London Terminal storage facility in Hounslow. The existing pipeline runs from West to East in Surrey Heath, entering the Borough in Frimley Green and exiting into Runneymede from Chobham Common. More information on the Southampton to London Pipeline Project is available on Esso’s website: https://www.slpproject.co.uk/
The application was accepted by the Planning Inspectorate for Examination on the 11th June 2019 and entered what is termed the Pre-examination stage. As part of the Pre-examination process, the public were able to register with the planning inspectorate to become an Interested Party by making a Relevant Representation between the 26th June and 27th July 2019. A Relevant Representation is a summary of a person’s views on an application, made in writing. The Examining Authority was appointed at the Pre-examination stage, and all Interested Parties were invited to attend a Preliminary Meeting, run and chaired by the Examining Authority.
The Examination began on the 9th October, following the close of the preliminary meeting. The Examination will last for a maximum of 6 months, after which the Examining Authority will provide its recommendations to the Secretary of State. The Rule 8 letter, see documents list below, sets out the Examination Timetable and includes important information about the examination. The following key dates are included in the letter:
- The 24th October 2019 is the deadline for the Notification of wish to speak at a Compulsory Acquisition Hearing and Notification of wish to speak at an Open Floor Hearing.
- On the 28th of October 2019 the Examining Authority will provide notification of Hearings to be held during the weeks commencing 25 November and 2 December 2019, including open floor hearings.
- The 14th November 2019 is the deadline for written representations, responses to the Examining Authorities written questions and initial Statements of Common Ground.
- The 18th December 2019 is the deadline for comments on responses to the Examining Authorities written questions.
- The week commencing the 24th February 2020 is reserved for further hearing sessions.
- Thursday the 5th March is the deadline for finalised Statements of Common Ground.
- Thursday the 9th April is the latest date at which the examination will end.
As part of the Examination Process, local authorities are expected to submit a Local Impact Report (LIR). A LIR, as defined in Section 60(3) of the 2008 Planning Act, is a ‘report in writing giving details of the likely impact of the proposed development in the authority’s area (or any part of that area)’, with the overall purpose to inform the examining authority (the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State in this case) of the local authority’s view on relevant matters. The Surrey Heath Local Impact Report has now been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and a copy of is available in the documents list below.
Further information on the application, including application documents, are available on the Planning Inspectorate website on the following link: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-east/southampton-to-london-pipeline-project/.
Further details regarding the process for applications for orders granting development consent, including relevant legislation, guidance and advice notes can be found on the Planning Inspectorate website and accessed by following this link: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/. Details specific to the stages of the SLP Project can be found on Esso’s website on the following link: www.slpproject.co.uk/our-application.