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Planning Act 2008: Hornsea Offshore Wind Farm

Volume 611: debated on Thursday 26 May 2016

I have been asked by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to make this written statement. This statement concerns an application made under the Planning Act 2008 by SMart Wind Limited on 30 January 2015 for a proposed development known as the Hornsea offshore wind farm (zone 4)—project two (“the development”).

The development would consist of up to 300 wind turbine generators, each with a capacity of between 6 MW and 15 MW, approximately 89 km east of the East Riding of Yorkshire coast. The total installed capacity of the development would be up to 1,800MW. The Planning Inspectorate’s examining authority commenced examination of the application on 16 June 2015 and the examining authority’s report was delivered to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on 16 March 2016.

Section 107(1) of the Planning Act 2008 requires the Secretary of State to make her decision within three months of receipt of the examining authority’s report unless she exercises her power under section 107(3) to extend the deadline and make a statement to the House of Commons announcing the new deadline.

The deadline for the decision is to be extended to 16 August 2016 (an extension of two months). This extension is to enable the Secretary of State to obtain further information in order to fully assess the possible impact of the development on the southern North sea possible special area of conservation for harbour porpoise, and to ensure that her duties in relation to the requirements under regulation 61 of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 have been met.

The decision to set a new deadline is without prejudice to the decision on whether to grant development consent for the development.