Eagle eyed MMAG supporters will have noticed the curious reference to ‘special parliamentary procedure’ which appears on page 128 of the IPC Covanta decision document (at the top of the page in italics ) just below Appendix D – the Development Consent Order.
This could prove to be a significant issue or a false hope. This is significant because following on from the decision, arising from the fact that 46 out of the 93 plots of land to be compulsorily acquired are owned by statutory utilities or local authorities, and they have made representations about the project. In such a situation, the Planning Act requires the project to be subject to ‘Special Parliamentary Procedure’ (SPP) before it can go ahead.
SPP can involve a committee of MPs having to be convened to consider objections to the project, and this could delay it by 6-9 months before it can be implemented, despite the IPC having given it the green light.
Apparently this hangover from previous planning regimes is still included in the Planning Act procedure. This issue is likely to affect any project where the promoter is not itself a statutory undertaker or local authority.
However, It may be that this procedural issue is addressed in Parliament on Monday October 24th when amendments to the Localism Bill are to be considered that would replace this requirement with one where no separate procedure is needed, but instead the acquisition of statutory undertakers’ or local authority land is given special regard when a decision is made.
So for now its wait and see !
Hugh Roberts -Chair MMAG