Why is this consultation being undertaken?
Under the terms of EU Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (the EIA Directive) and the 1991 United Nations Convention on environmental impact in a transboundary context (the Espoo Convention), Member States are required to engage in transboundary public consultation in respect of projects likely to have significant effects on the environment of neighbouring States as part of the environmental impact assessment of a proposed development. For this purpose, the Member State in whose territory the project is intended to be carried out shall send to the affected State, no later than when informing its own public, a description of the project and any available information on its possible transboundary impact.
Each planning authority in Ireland has recently received information in the form of a letter dated 28 July 2017 and Annex from the United Kingdom’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS) to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) relating to the development of Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Plant, which is understood to be under construction near Bridgwater, Somerset, UK. The DBEIS letter refers to the planning decision of 19 March 2013 by the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to grant consent for this development.
Arising from engagement between the Implementation Committee of the Espoo Convention and the UK, in which the UK maintains it has not breached its international commitments, the UK’s DBEIS letter invites comments on the environmental information on Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Plant, as set out in the webpages listed in the Annex to the letter, in relation to potential transboundary impacts of the development, which was the subject of environmental impact assessment prior to the March 2013 planning decision. DBEIS has since agreed, in the case of Ireland, to extend the deadline set down in the letter for the receipt of comments.
How to participate
The UK’s DBEIS letter and Annex can be accessed in the documents below the local authority contact details on this page, together with the documents identified by the UK’s DBEIS as most relevant for the purposes of the transboundary consultation and related documents. A printed copy of these documents, including the UK Secretary of State’s March 2013 planning decision and extracts from the applicant’s environmental statement, are now available for public inspection during office hours at the office of the planning section of each planning authority in Ireland for the duration of the transboundary consultation period and a copy may be purchased from the authority at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of copying. Other links set out in the Annex to the DBEIS letter may be accessed in the links below the local authority contact details on this page.
Making a submission or observation
A submission or observations in relation to the potential transboundary environmental effects of the development may be made in writing or by e-mail to the Planning Section in the planning authority for the area in which the person lives or the head office of the body concerned is located (see contact details for each planning authority below). All submissions or observations must—
- be titled “Transboundary environmental public consultation – Hinkley Point C”,
- include the name and address of the person, authority or body making the submission or observation and the name of the person, if any, acting on behalf of that person, authority or body,
- include reasons, considerations and arguments on which the submission or observation is based, and
- clearly identify any material in the submission that is considered to contain confidential or personal information. Responses to this consultation are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and Data Protection legislation.
Submissions or observations may also, or alternatively, be e-mailed to the UK’s DBEIS at the following email address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for submissions or observations
The deadline for the receipt of written submissions or observations by the planning authority under this transboundary consultation process is by close of business on Tuesday 17 April 2018. Submissions or observations will not be individually acknowledged or responded to by the planning authority. DHPLG will not accept submissions or observations in relation to the project.
What will be done with your submissions?
Following consultation with the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, each planning authority will forward to the UK’s DBEIS all submissions or observations it receives through this public consultation. Submissions or observations received may be published on the website of the planning authority concerned. The DHPLG and the UK’s DBEIS will not publish any submissions or observations.