Planning Inspectorate – Reviews Plans for Your Park
Thames Water are out, PINs are in… Charge
You know how government departments love an acronym, PINs is the easy-to-say name for the Planning Inspectorate, who are the agency responsible for operating the planning process for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs), another catchy acronym!
The Planning Process is dealt with in another article, but put simply, Thames Water have consulted the public during Phase One, Phase Two and Section 48 consultations. They are supposed to have used the feedback to refine and improve their plans, and then make a final submission, called a Development Consent Order application (DCO). PINs had 28 days to check if Thames Water has consulted adequately and the Inspectorate decided that the DCO is “verified for examination”.
This means that Thames Water are no longer in control of the planning process, PINs are in charge now.
What can I Do to Save My Park?
The Planning Process is a bit complex and will take time for the planning inspectors to review everything, meet with interested parties (that includes you and me), and make a recommendation to ministers.
The steps are:
- Register to be an Interested Party – you have until Tuesday 28 May 2013 at 11:59pm
- Include a summary of the points you wish to make
- PINs will hold a public Preliminary Meeting to agree the issues to be examined and set the timetable for the examination
- Interested Parties can then write to PINs and include details and evidence
- Interested Parties can attend public hearings and speak
- PINs will then consider the evidence for 3 months then made a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
- The Ministers will then spend 3 months considering the PINs recommendation before accepting or rejecting it.
- There is a 6 week period after the ministers decision for legal challenges, often called a Judicial Review.
There are advice booklets with all of the information mentioned above in more detail. click here