This statement concerns applications for development consent made under the Planning Act 2008 by East Anglia ONE North Limited and East Anglia TWO Limited for the installation, operation and maintenance of the proposed East Anglia ONE North Offshore Wind Farm and the proposed East Anglia TWO Offshore Wind Farm respectively, their related offshore infrastructure off the coast of Suffolk and their related onshore electrical connections within this county.
Under section 98(1) of the Planning Act 2008, the examining authority must complete its examination of an application by the end of the period of six months beginning with the day after the start day of the examination unless the Secretary of State sets a new deadline under section 98(4) of that Act. Where a new deadline is set, the Secretary of State must make a statement to Parliament to announce it.
A request has been made by the Planning Inspectorate to extend the examination periods for the proposed developments. The reasons given for this request were that some interested parties, local authorities and statutory bodies have had their resources and capability reduced due to covid-19 restrictions, and that extensions would enable all interested parties sufficient time to engage properly and effectively in the examination processes.
Taking these reasons into account and after careful consideration, the Secretary of State has decided to reset the statutory timescale for the examinations. The examination periods for both applications are now extended by three months—from 6 April 2021—so that the examinations must be completed by no later than 6 July 2021.
However, mindful of the need to avoid unnecessary delays to the development consent processes, the Secretary of State requests the examining authorities make best efforts to complete the examination processes as soon as is reasonably practicable within the extended periods.
The decision to set the new deadlines for the examinations of these applications is without prejudice to the decisions on whether to grant or refuse development consents.