Planning and Consultation

A nationally significant infrastructure project

The Crown Estate has recently announced its plans for new leasing opportunities in commercial-scale floating wind projects in the Celtic Sea, confirming its ambition to unlock up to 4GW of this technology in England and Wales by 2035 and help kick-start a new industry in the UK.

Like all offshore wind projects in English waters, Petroc is classed as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project, meaning Development Consent must be granted by UK Government Ministers before the project can go ahead. The planning process will be dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the UK Government, rather than by a local planning authority.

The Planning Inspectorate will examine the application and make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, based on planning merits and national priorities. The Secretary of State will then decide whether to grant Development Consent to the proposals.

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Local consultation and engagement

Falck Renewables and BlueFloat Energy are committed to undertaking considered engagement and consultation with local residents, businesses and community organisations across a wide area around Petroc wind farm. Local communities play an important role in this process, helping to ensure that we take account of all the likely significant environmental, social and economic effects of the project, and that impacts are appropriately mitigated or managed in our proposals.

You can learn more about our ongoing dialogue and consultation with the local community on this website as the project develops.

After our consultation, the application will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, who will hold a further, six-month examination of the proposal, which interested parties can participate in. The Planning Inspectorate will then have three months to produce a report for the UK Government on the application, and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will have a further three months to decide whether to grant or refuse Development Consent.

For more information about the Development Consent process, please visit the Planning Inspectorate website.

Planning and consultation process

Pre-application

Development Proposal needs to be fully scoped and refined prior to submission of the application.

The Applicant must formally consult with all statutory bodies, local authorities, the local community and any affected persons, including on the likely environmental, social and economic effects of the proposals, and their appropriate mitigation and management.

Those who wish to influence the proposal should engage with consultation at this stage.

Application and acceptance

Application is formally submitted to Planning Inspectorate, including a statement of all likely significant environmental impacts, and their mitigation or management measures.

The Planning Inspectorate must decide within 28 days whether all relevant documentation has been submitted.

If accepted, all documents are published on the Planning Inspectorate website.

Pre examination

Applicant must publish that the application has been accepted, and when and how interested parties can register to take part in examination.

An inspector, or a panel of inspectors, is appointed.

A preliminary meeting will be held to discuss procedural issues, with all interested parties notified. Timetable for examination is set.

Examination

Inspectors examine the application. Must be completed within six months. Examination primarily conducted through written representations, but hearings can be held too.

Decision

Following the close of the examination stage, the Planning Inspectorate has three months to prepare a report and a recommendation on the application for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. The Secretary of State then has a further three months to make the decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent.

Post-decision

Six-week window for legal challenge to the Secretary of State’s decision.