Consenting process

As each Dogger Bank offshore wind farm project will have a generating capacity greater than 100MW, they are individually classified as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) under the Planning Act 2008.  Forewind will apply for development consent orders (DCOs) to authorise their construction and operation.

On 1 April 2012, under the Localism Act 2011, the new National Infrastructure Directorate (NID) of the Planning Inspectorate became the agency responsible for operating the planning process for these projects.  For the Dogger Bank projects, the NID will examine the applications for NSIPs and will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, who will make the final decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent.

The Planning Act 2008 provided for National Policy Statements which are documents that incorporate environmental, social and economic objectives and clarify the need for infrastructure; a single consents regime, and a new duty on developers to ensure stronger community engagement prior to applications being submitted.

As offshore wind farms have an impact on the seabed, each of the Dogger Bank projects is also likely to require an individual Marine Licence. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) generally carries out this licensing and enforcement function on behalf of the Secretary of State. However in the case of NSIPs, this function may be managed by the NID of the Planning Inspectorate with the MMO as a statutory consultee.  In taking authorisation or enforcement decisions, the NID of the Planning Inspectorate must do so in accordance with the Marine Policy Statement and relevant Marine Plans as well as with National Policy Statements.

Project development and consenting process
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Notification of the proposal application to the National Infrastructure Directorate (NID) of the Planning Inspectorate.
Indentification of project specific stakeholders Consultation on approach to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and site selection process
Continuation of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process Stakeholder consultation and feedback Further consultation
prior to application
Submission of final ES and Consultation Report as part of the application for consent Examination of application by the National Infrastructure Directorate and decision by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
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Preliminary consultation with technical consultees

Publication of Statement
of Community Consultation
(SoCC) following agreement
with local authorities

Initial presentation
of proposals to
stakeholders including the local community

Ongoing onshore and
offshore environmental
surveys, studies, research
and engagement with technical consultees on the EIA methodology

This may include the collated opinion on the Scoping Report by the NID

Preliminary Environmental
Information (PEI) made
available to stakeholders

Consultation with stakeholders including the
local community via meetings, consultation
events, publications and
direct mail

Feedback mechanisms
include website, 0800
number and freepost

Additional stakeholder
consultation with the
provision of updated PEI
incorporating feedback
from former consultation
responses and providing
information on the detailed proposals and potential impacts