Concerns over RWE’s consultation process have been raised by the Triton Knoll Cable Group (TKCG) who says it has formally submitted a ‘strong holding objection’ to the proposed cable route and consultation.
Group chairman Melvin Grosvenor of TKCG represents impacted landowners and occupiers along the proposed route landing at Anderby, to the proposed Bicker substation near Boston and communities on the cable route at Orby, Skegness, who have confirmed opposition.
The group claim landowners are ‘dissatisfied’ with RWE’s communications, and TKCG considers the consultation ‘deeply flawed’.
It has raised particular issue with the published questionnaire, which it says appears to try to ‘seriously restrict’ questions concerning local communities and gives no ‘clear’ opportunity to object.
In response to the claims, RWE released the following statement:
‘The Planning Act 2008 requires developers to undertake pre-application consultation before submitting an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO).
The Triton Knoll Electrical System Consultation Questionnaire is part of our community consultation under S47 of the Planning Act 2008.
We sought the views of Lincolnshire County Council, East Lindsey District Council, Boston Borough Council and the Marine Management Organisation on how we should engage with communities before the consultation commenced to ensure that we were approaching it in the right way.
As part of our consultation on the Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm Electrical System a series of public exhibitions were held between October 21-26, where we provided detailed information about the electrical system including the onshore cable route, the offshore cable route, the proposed intermediate electrical compound near Orby and the substation near Bicker Fen.
Nearly 300 people attended the recent exhibitions.
As agreed with the Local Planning Authorities, RWE Innogy advertised the consultation period and activity through the Statement of Community Consultation published in regional newspapers.
It has also distributed newsletters and posters with details about the opportunities available for people to find out about the proposals, provide their feedback and get involved.
Copies of the consultation documents have also been made available to view at the public exhibitions, at local libraries, council offices and online.’
Triton Knoll Project Manager, Jacob Hain, said: “Throughout the consultation we’ve had some very useful feedback and information from local people. This has included suggestions around potential construction transport routes and information about potential ecological constraints. We very much value this local feedback and the consultation responses will be used to shape the final application for the proposed Triton Knoll Electrical System.”
He added: “Our assessments have considered the construction impacts in considerable detail, and are based on extensive planning and consultation to ensure the proposed infrastructure is well situated, avoids sensitive areas, and that temporary impacts can be mitigated. On top of the extensive studies and consultation we’ve already undertaken, we’ll be incorporating feedback from this latest round of consultation to further improve our plans.”
The Statutory Consultation for the Triton Knoll Offshore Wind Farm Electrical System started on October 15 and ended on the November 19, with an extension until 5pm on the December 22 for the online questionnaire.
“Within the consultation questionnaire there is an open question which asks: Do you have any other comments on the consultation or our proposals?
This question gives the opportunity for respondents to outline any comments they wish to make including clearly stating their support or objections to the project.
The consultation will be used to shape the final proposal for the Triton Knoll Electrical System before RWE Innogy UK submits an application under the Planning Act 2008 for a Development Consent Order and following this, members of the public and statutory consultees will have further opportunity to comment on the submitted application via the Planning Inspectorate once the application has been accepted.”