Pontardawe and Swansea Angling Society

© 2009-17

Progress of the DCO application and our involvement

Pre-application.

The developer started formal consultation procedures in June 2013 by publishing this notice…

The documents referred to in the notice included:

Responses were required by 5 August 2013

We were not impressed. Our reply can be seen here… and the very good reply by Fish Legal can be seen here…

TLSB held an event at the Liberty Stadium in October to present “the findings of” the EIA - surprising really, as the EIA was nowhere near complete. Again we told them how unimpressed we were. The presentations given at that event can be seen here…

In November 2013 TLSB gave us a draft copy of the Environmental Statement which would in due course be submitted as part of their application for consent.

We and Fish Legal finally had replies to our responses to the PEIR:

The response submitted by Fish Legal to the draft ES can be seen here…

Having come to the conclusion that we needed expert fisheries assistance with the assessment of the proposals, Fish Legal commissioned a review by APEM Ltd (paid for by us, two other local clubs, Angling Trust and Fish Legal). Received in February 2014 it supported our view that the EIA submitted by TLSB was flawed and understated the likely harm to salmon and sea trout. The report is here…

Application and Acceptance.

Despite an obligation to “to ensure that detailed matters are consulted upon and solutions or mitigation negotiated … before submission of the application for development consent” TLSB submitted their application on 7 February 2014, before concluding discussions with us:

This started the Acceptance stage, during which the Sec of State has 28 days to decide whether to accept the application for examination.

Fish Legal wrote to PINS on 3rd March arguing that TLSB had failed to comply with statutory requirements and that the application should not be accepted for examination but the application was accepted on 6th March. The Fish Legal letter is here… and the PINS reply is here…

The PINS acceptance letter is here…

Pre-examination.

The applicant then had to give notice that the application has been accepted and publicise the arrangements for making representations. The public notice is here…

Persons wanting their views to be taken into account by the Examining Authority (ExA) had to register with PINS and make a “relevant representation” by 11 April. We did that and our representation (No 202) and the Fish Legal representation (No 256) can be seen along with all other relevant representations on the PINS website here…

The ExA then had 21 days to review the application and representations, identify the principal issues for examination and invite interested parties to a “Preliminary Meeting” to consider how the application should be examined. The merits of the application are not up for discussion at the meeting, which is purely procedural.

Notice of the Preliminary Meeting held on 10 June, and the draft timetable for the examination can be seen here…

Following the Preliminary Meeting, the ExA set out the timetable for the examination in a a procedural decision dated 16 June here…

The letter included a note of the meeting here… and a set of Written Questions here…

Examination.

Deadline 1, 24 June, was for interested parties to notify their intentions as to oral hearings and site visits.

Deadline 2, 9 July, was for the submission of Written Representations and answers to the ExA’s Written Questions - the main opportunity for parties to make their case on the application:

Other submissions by other parties can be seen on the PINS website here…

Oral hearings, 29 July and 31 July, were held in the Guildhall.

Audio recordings are on the PINS website here…

NRW summary of case presented here…

Examination continued…

Deadline 3, 5 August, was an opportunity for all parties to comment on the Relevant Representations and Deadline 2 submissions by others:

TLSB also submitted a number of updated application documents at Deadline 3, including:

This upset some of the other parties as things like this are supposed to have been finalised when the application is submitted. NRW letter 29 August about late TLSB submissions is here…

The ExA response to the late submissions was to require TLSB to publicise the new information, adjust the examination timetable, allow time for further consultation and require responses by Deadline 4, 7 October. Their letter of 4 September is here…

The Agenda for the oral hearings beginning 16 September, issued on 9 September, is here…

The revised timetable interfered with the oral hearings planned to begin on 16 September, including a session on fish. We complained to the ExA about this and our email of 11 September is here…

Oral hearings, 16, 17, 18, 23 and 30 September were held in the Guildhall. Audio recordings are on the PINS website here…

We didn’t contribute to the hearings but we observed the session on fish, a transcript of which is here…

The ExA’s note of points arising from the hearings, for various parties to address, is here…

Deadline 4, 7 October, was for parties to submit: summaries of the points they had made at the oral hearings, consultation responses on the late TLSB documents submitted at Deadline 3 and any outstanding comments on documents submitted at Deadlines 2 and 3:

The submissions by us, Fish Legal and NRW showed that the applicant’s Deadline 3 submissions still failed to deal satisfactorily with environmental impacts.

All environmental matters should have been resolved before Deadline 4 but disturbingly TLSB were allowed to submit further revised application documents, in particular:

Still flawed and inadequate…

Issue-specific / Compulsory Acquisition hearings 20, 21, 22, 23 October at the Guildhall to deal with: matters arising from comments received at deadline IV; outstanding matters including DCO; and Compulsory Acquisition.

Deadline 5, 28 October (extended to 4 November) was meant to be for: post hearing documents (including any revised DCO from the applicant); written summaries of oral cases made at DCO hearings. Because environmental matters had not been put to bed, however, further revised application documents were submitted by TLSB, in particular:

and further submissions were made by others, including:

Examination continued…

11 November - the ExA issued:

Deadline 6 (Final), 25 November. Intended to be the deadline for receipt by ExA of: comments on the RIES; and comments on the ExA’s draft DCO. But again, because environmental matters had not been put to bed, further revised application documents were submitted by TLSB, in particular:

and further submissions were made by others, including:

Deadline 7 (Final final), 4 December. Amazingly, the ExA set a further deadline for responses to the Deadline 6 submissions. ExA letter 27 November here…

Deadline 7 submissions by:

TLSB also submitted updated application documents:

OEMP here…

Deadline 8 (Final final final), 8 December.

It never ends..! On 2 December the ExA sought responses to further specific questions by another new Deadline 8. ExA letter (PDF 113KB) here…

TLSB took the opportunity to go beyond the matters requested by the ExA and responded to our Deadline 7 submission here…  

We responded to that after the supposed close of the Examination and the ExA accepted our late comments (PDF 16KB) here…

NRW’s final submissions:

10 December - Being under a duty to complete the examination of the application by the end of the period of 6 months beginning with the day after the close of the Preliminary Meeting, the ExA closed the Examination on 10 December.

Decision timetable.

The ExA has 3 months (until 10 Mar 2015) to report on the application to the Sec of State, with a recommendation.

The Sec of State then has 3 months (until 10 Jun 2015) to decide whether to grant or refuse development consent. The General Election will fall during this period and it isn’t clear whether the Sec of State will rush through a decision before the Election or wait until afterwards, at which time there might be a new Sec of State (and Government).

On 14 April the Secretary of State issued a number of questions for the applicant, NRW, Welsh Govt and other interested parties - letter here…

Responses by 28 April:

Following the General Election on 7 May the (Conservative) Sec of State for DECC is Amber Rudd.


The Decision:

The Secretary of State issued her Development Consent Decision on 9 June 2015. The decision letter and other related documents are here…



Post-decision.

Following the Sec of State’s decision, there is a six week period in which the decision may be challenged in the High Court (Judicial Review).

Although unhappy with the outcome, we decided not to challenge the decision but to oppose the Marine Licence application. If unsuccessful in that, there will be an opportunity to challenge that, without the 6 week time limit applying to the DCO.


13 July 2017

Other Websites


Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay website…

TLSB application for Development Consent…

Planning Inspectorate website…

Marine Licensing Team website…


Click on the plan for a larger version.


Where to find things

Overview of the project and our concerns here…

Details of the consents required here…

Progress of the Development Consent application and our involvement - this page

Links to development consent documents here…

Progress of the Marine Licence application and our involvement here…