The New Nuclear Build at Wylfa: Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) was produced and adopted by Isle of Anglesey County Council (the IACC) in July 2014. As the Joint Local Development Plan (JLDP) was yet to be adopted, the SPG was produced to fill this policy gap. This enabled the IACC to influence and inform Horizon Nuclear Power’s (Horizon) strategic decision making, it provided the basis for the County Council’s response to Horizon’s statutory consultations (PAC1, 2 and 3) and also provided a sound and robust policy framework for the IACC to make decisions in relation to any planning applications (as well as the DCO itself).
However since the SPG was adopted in 2014, there have been a number of fundamental changes which has necessitated the need to review and update this SPG. These are outlined in more detail below:
- Policy Changes – The JLDP was formally adopted by the IACC on the 31st July 2017. The existing SPG is therefore outdated as it referred to the previous Development Plan. For consistency and alignment, the SPG needs to be updated to reflect the latest JLDP polices. This ensures that the IACC has a sound and robust policy framework to make decisions in relation to any potential TCPA planning applications related to the new nuclear build, and to underpin the IACC’s response to the Development Consent Order (DCO) application process.
- Legislative Changes – Since the SPG was adopted in July 2014, there have been a number of important legislative changes which has changed the IACC’s role in the statutory consenting process. Most notably is the Wales Act 2017, which received Royal Ascent on the 31st January 2017. This allows project promoters (i.e. Horizon) to include associated developments (such as park & ride, temporary workers accommodation etc.) within their DCO application. The SPG needs to be updated to reflect this latest legislative change. Other key new legislation such as the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 also needs to be reflected in the revised SPG.
- Project Updates – Horizon Nuclear Power (Horizon) have proposed a number of project updates since the SPG was adopted in 2014. The most significant project change is Horizon’s decision to increase the on-site temporary workers accommodation from 500 essential workers to having up to 4,000 workers on-site in a purpose built temporary campus. This change needs to be reflected in the IACC’s SPG so that the IACC can adequately respond to these proposals. Further detail and clarity on Horizon’s other associated developments (such as the park & ride at Dalar Hir, Logistics Centre at Parc Cybi etc.) also means that these sections of the SPG need to be updated.
SPG is a means of setting out more detailed thematic or site specific guidance on the way in which the policies of the Joint Local Development Plan are to be interpreted and applied in particular circumstances or areas. SPG does not for part of the development plan but it must be consistent with the plan and national policy. The SPG must be derived from and be clearly cross-referenced to a generic JLDP policy, a specific policy or a plan allocation.
In summary therefore, the SPG does not itself contain “policy”, it must be clearly cross referenced to the JLDP and must not contain ‘proxy criteria’ that should be in the JLDP. The SPG should contain guidance and advice from the Council as to what it expects from project developers / promoters.
Given the scale and complexity of the Wylfa Newydd project, the IACC believes that an SPG is necessary to provide guidance and advice to Horizon and any other third party applicants on how the policy should be applied. It also clearly sets out the Council’s expectations from the Wylfa Newydd proposal.
This SPG is a re-fresh of the previous SPG which was formally adopted by the Council in July 2014. As the Council has used the SPG to inform and underpin its response to Horizon’s PAC1, PAC2 and PAC3 consultations, it was important that this continuity was maintained leading into the DCO Examination. This SPG has therefore been updated to reflect the policy, legislative and project changes as described above and is not a ‘new’ SPG.
This revised SPG was formally adopted by Full Council on the 15th May, 2018 following a period of public consultation (11th January 2018 – 22nd February 2018).