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Morecambe and Morgan Offshore Wind Farms project

Volume 749: debated on Tuesday 7 May 2024

The petition of residents of the constituency of Fylde in Lancashire,

Declares that the Morecambe and Morgan project should reconsider their plans for Transmission Asset cabling and proposed substations in Fylde; further declares that the proposed plans of the project will disrupt wildlife, communities and agricultural land.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to heed the residents’ concerns and work with those leading the project to share all relevant documents and studies transparently, and seek alternative connections to the National Grid.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mark Menzies, Official Report, 4 March 2024; Vol. 746, c. 734.]

[P002920]

Observations from the Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero (Justin Tomlinson):

The application for development consent for the Morgan and Morecambe transmission assets proposal is at the pre-application stage of the planning process set out under the Planning Act 2008. The Planning Inspectorate’s project page for the proposal states that the application is expected to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate between July and September 2024.

Once the pre-application stage is completed and the application is officially received by the Planning Inspectorate, it has 28 days to review the application and to decide whether or not to accept it for examination. It is important to note that when deciding if an application should be accepted for examination, the Planning Inspectorate considers whether an applicant has complied with the pre-application procedure. The adequacy of an applicant’s pre-application consultation has a significant bearing on whether or not an application is considered to be of a satisfactory standard to be accepted for examination. It is also important to note that the panel of inspectors that will conduct the examination of the proposal, should the application be submitted to Planning Inspectorate as planned, are appointed by Planning Inspectorate, without involvement from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.

Should the application be successfully accepted for examination, the Planning Inspectorate will publish all of the application documents on its project page for the proposal.

Furthermore, should the application be successfully accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate once submitted, we would encourage you to register as an interested party and to engage with the examination process.

Given the role of the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero in determining applications for development consent, the Department cannot comment on specific concerns regarding a proposed infrastructure project to avoid prejudicing the decision-making process.

However, please be assured that in taking the decision, the Secretary of State (Claire Coutinho) will follow the relevant requirements in the Planning Act 2008 and have regard to a wide range of matters relevant to her decision.