Gate Burton Energy Park - Important
As you know, the Gate Burton Energy Park is now the first of four solar proposals in our locality to enter examination with the Planning Inspectorate, with the preliminary meeting being held on the 4th of July in Lincoln at the Double Tree Hilton, Brayford Wharf North, Lincoln, LN1 1YW.
We believe that the process and the applications are fundamentally flawed.
Why has the city of Lincoln been chosen for the meetings and not somewhere closer to the four proposals, such as the Lincolnshire Showground, with easier access and free parking?
Why are the deadlines for the examination during summer school holiday periods when most people are unable to attend or submit material to the examining authority?
The scale and number of these schemes in a short space of time do not enable people to engage with the process. Why can’t these applications be examined as one or significant time be provided between each examination to help residents understand and become involved?
Why have two of the schemes been proposed by the same developer, Island Green Power?
The above aspects are confusing in their own right, but they are made worse by one of the projects being named West Burton Solar Project and another developer branding their proposal as Gate Burton Energy Park.
It is easy to see that with these proposals running at roughly the same time, confusion could prevent any opposition and cause the general public to lose track of where each one is in the process.
For example, at the moment, Gate Burton is under examination.
Cottam in pre-examination
West Burton had just completed the RR stage, and
Tillbridge in Statutory Consultation
These four huge proposals are not the only ones in Lincolnshire (there are many more proposed for this county). But these are all within a few miles of each other!
This current examination format would be very difficult for us all to follow and participate in, and so we feel we are being unfairly treated and ultimately discriminated against.
We urge you all to feed a similar message back to the planning inspectorate under 'Make a Submission.
Please see the following notes explaining some of the processes:
Examining Authority (ExA): Mr. Kenneth Stone
Preliminary Meeting: Tuesday, July 4 (starts at 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m., seating from 9:30 a.m.)
The purpose of the meeting is to look at how the application should be examined. This meeting will cover procedural matters. We are being asked to write or comment if we have any issues in relation to the examination timetable and/or the arrangements for the examination hearings. We cannot give our views on the scheme itself during this meeting.
If you wish to speak, you need to register on the Planning Inspectorate website for the Gate Burton Solar Project by June 14th using the ‘Make a Submission" tab; see Annex I for details on how to do this. (Please refer to the Examination Authorities letter dated May 31, 2023.)
If you have difficulty doing this, contact the Case Team on 0303 444 5000 or GateBurtonSolar@planninginspectorate.gov.uk.
This deadline is known as Procedural Deadline A; see Annex E.
Also, you can attend and observe the meeting, watch the livestream, or watch a recording of the event afterwards on the project website.
The Agenda for this meeting is found in Annex A of the recent letter all Interested Parties received dated 31 May 2023.
Please note – if you do not wish to make a verbal comment on the procedural matters at this meeting, you can make a written submission. You do not have to speak. The written submission carries equal importance as any verbal submission.
The above meeting may go on into the afternoon, so if you wish to attend or speak, you may need to allow all day to do so
Open Floor Hearing 1: Tuesday, July 4th (starts at 2:00 p.m. onwards)
It seems this meeting has been timetabled to allow the morning meeting to go over if needed and to raise other procedural matters. This meeting may not be required. However, in case it does, you still need to register if you wish to speak or submit written questions regarding procedure. To do so, use the ‘Make a Submission" tab.
Issue Specific Hearing 1: Wednesday, July 5th (10:00 a.m. onwards)
This hearing will examine matters in relation to the draught Development Consent Order.
If you wish to participate in this Hearing, you need to register by the 14 June using the ‘Make a Submission" tab. You do not need to register if you wish to observe the meeting in person or watch the livestream or recording on the project webpage.
Agendas for hearings are published five days prior to the meeting on the project web page. However, open floor hearing agendas may not be published.
Please note that the hearings are not like court cases; they are not adversarial. The examiner wishes to find out information and adopts an inquisitorial approach.
Also, we need to submit by June 14 any suggested locations for site inspections we wish the ExA to carry out (see Annex G, G6, and G7).
If you have any local knowledge regarding possible sites that provide clear views or demonstrate failings in the developer's application, please put forward any such site suggestions to the Examining Authority or indeed ourselves so that we can put this to the ExA prior to the deadline of June 14th.
Please note that all the above advice is given in good faith.
Please do not rely on this information alone. Refer to the Examination Authorities letter dated May 31, 2023.