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Confusion over deadlines.

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Jun 17 2009

news >> News

In the Huntly Express of 12 June the Vattenfall application was posted with a 14 day period for submission of comments. Above it was another advert for the Environmental Impact Assessment with a period of 28 days for submitting comments.

An email was sent to the Planning Service to try to clarify this issue. A reply has been received which appears to make it even more confusing.

 Email sent :

"For the attention of Aude Chaiban,

The notice of the application for the above under Section 34 was published in the Huntly Express on Friday 12 June 2009. The indicated period for any representations was 14 days. Immediately above this, on the same page, was a Notice Under Regulations 13 for the Environmental Impact Assessment for the same application with a date for representations of 28 days.

Could you please advise the correct period.

I would also comment that neither of these periods is sufficient for an adequate review of the application which comprises some 126 documents. The applicant no doubt had a number of staff members working on this application, full time, for some months to produce it. To expect this to be reviewed by the public in such a short space of time is unreasonable."

Email received :

"I refer to your email in connection with the Clashindarroch Windfarm application.

Under statutory legislation namely the Town and County Planning (General Development Procedure) (Scotland) Order 1992, when neighbour notification is required and carried out, a statutory period of 14 days from the date on the Neighbour Notification Certificate received, is given to submit any representations. This timescale is set out in the legislation. Aberdeenshire Council, to allow time for information to appear on their website, currently gives a period of 21 days for interested parties to make
comment on applications. This is longer than the statutory timescale.

Currently however, notwithstanding the statutory periods of time as outlined above, Aberdeenshire Council do make provision for accepting letters of representation right up to the time of determination of an application.

The advent of the new planning legislation in August 2009 will make provision for a 21 day notification period. As such this falls within Aberdeenshire Council’s time periods, but the 21 day period will be
strictly adhered to (i.e. no letters of representation will be accepted if after 21 days, unless there are genuine circumstances where this has proven not to be possible.)

As this legislation does not come into force until 3 August 2009, and given this application has already been submitted, the current procedure will apply in this instance and letters of representation will be accepted outwith the forthcoming statutory 21 day period. This must be on the understanding that all letters will have had to be submitted prior to any committee report being finalised. To date it is not known when the application will be considered by the Marr Area Committee.

The application for Clashindarroch was received by the Council on 7 May 2009, however this was not made valid until 1 June 2009 following receipt of outstanding information. The Neighbour Notification certificate does have the following caveat attached for such instances as a notifiable party being in receipt of a neighbour notification notice prior to the application being submitted or indeed validated:

"For 14 days after the Council receives my application, you can inspect the application form, plans and other documents at the Planning and Environmental Services office ticked above. You may receive this notice before the Council receives my application so you should phone first and check that the Council has received my application, and where and when you can see it."

Given that the application was received as invalid, the Council were not in a position to carry out the necessary Press Adverts. The publication of press adverts have a ‘run in’ period set by the paper for the publication of advertisements. As such the press adverts were published in full accordance with the relevant parts of the legislation and were forwarded and published at the earliest possible date. There was no delay on the part of the Council.

Section 34 advert was published on 12 June and has a statutory period of 14 days for any representations (expiry 25 June). The EIA Advert (published in accordance with the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999) was published on 12 June and has a
statutory period of 28 days for any representations (expiry 9 July). Both these timescales are set down in legislation and therefore cannot be altered. This would apply to all applications where there would be a
requirement for these advertisements.

I trust this clarifies the situation regarding deadlines.

Yours sincerely


Mairi Stewart
Area Planning Officer (Marr)"

Last changed: Jun 17 2009 at 3:27 PM