Unlike a local planning application, proposals for offshore windfarms are examined by National Infrastructure Planning (PINS) which makes a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change who makes the final decision. This means that local and county councils, or unitary authorities have no responsibility for the decision but they have been consulted as "statutory consultees" on the plans. Other organisations consulted for example included Natural England and English Heritage.
PINS recommendation / Secretary of State's decision
- 11th Sept 2014 - The panel of 4 Planning Examiners, appointed by the Planning Inspectorate, held the Preliminary Meeting and the 6 month planning examination opened.
- 11th March 2015 - The planning examination closed after a series of public hearings and site visits. All of the documents (over 2000) submitted to the examination so far can be found under the Documents tab on the PINS project page. here for an index
- 11th June 2015 - The Planning Inspectorate spent 3 months reviewing the evidence submitted to the examination and passed their recommendation report to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
- 11th Sept 2015 - The Secretary of State, agreeing with the Examining Authority's recommendation, refused development consent. The decision and recommendation documents can be found here.
- There was a 6 week period in which a Judicial Review could be lodged. This is a challenge to the way in which the decision has been made, rather than the rights and wrongs of the decision itself.
- 19th October 2015 - NDBL decided not to lodge a Judicial Review.