Newsletter July 2021
BMSDC Joint Local Plan
The examination of the JLP scheduled to start on 21 June was a short affair. Unfortunately technical difficulties on the first day of a blended virtual/in-person hearing meant that the second and subsequent days in June & July were cancelled. They have now been rescheduled to September. The first day of the hearing was interesting – councils were given an opportunity to put their case and comment without time limits. BMSDC were given the opportunity to respond to comments the parish or town councils made. The planning inspector did on the whole seem even handed so it is well worth making your views known if you have the chance.
Given there is a delay to the examination, BAPTC members now have an opportunity to collaborate on responses to the matters for a consistent response to the examiner. If individual councils are interested please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org
Bramford to Twinstead
National Grid is pushing for rapid approval - by means of a Development Consent Order (DCO) - of the Bramford to Twinstead electricity transmission line and the Planning Inspectorate recently issued its Scoping Opinion; essentially its view of what can be scoped out of the Environmental Impact Assessment.
There’s quite a lot on how bats must be comprehensively ‘scoped in’ but socio-economics – including impact on local tourist businesses and on people who live in the area – remains ‘scoped out’.
On a more positive note, National Grid will have to take the visual impact on Special Landscape Areas into account and avoid an “arbitrary cut off” to the study area for “visual receptors”. A cut off of 3km had been proposed.
National Grid may well begin its formal consultation in early Autumn. It is also possible we will hear more about the proposed additional lines from Norwich to Bramford and Bramford to Tilbury before the end of the year. These could impact Sproughton, Copdock/Washbrook, Bentley, Capel St May, East Bergholt and Stratford St Mary. Around the Bramford substation there are 14 significant energy projects either consented, awaiting consent or in the pipeline. These would cover a further 600 acres. This area includes part of the current SLA.
The extent of energy infrastructure development throughout East Anglia depends on the rate and organisation of offshore development. Over the next few weeks we can expect further details on how this might be managed. Members of BAPTC are involved in the discussions at district, county and national level.