Petition to the Rt Hon Alok Sharma, July 2020
Nearly 3,500 of you signed our petition to the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to ask him to review Halite's project for underground gas storage in July 2020 - Halite's 5th Anniversary of being granted the Development Consent Order.
We received a detailed reply from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy that although they believe there is no grounds to review the project at the present time, there is going to be a Habitats Regulation Assessment of the area due to the extension of the Liverpool Bay Special Protection Area (SPA), that will include public consultation. This will be a good opportunity for us to voice our concerns about the dangers to our marine life. Issues related to the question of the legal start and whether enough was done by Halite Energy Ltd can be followed up with our local council.
The reply states that the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 requires that where a new Natura 2000 nature conservation site is put forward, certain existing consents must be reviewed to ensure that they take into account the protection afforded to the new site. BEIS is currently undertaking a Special Protection Area (“SPA”) Review of Consents which will include reviewing the implications of the extension of the Liverpool Bay SPA. At the conclusion of this review BEIS (as the competent authority) may affirm, modify or revoke the existing consents. The review will take the form of a Habitats Regulations Assessments (HRA). During the Review of Consents, BEIS officials will undertake formal public consultations which will enable interested parties to comment. Concerns that the developer may not have done sufficient works to keep the permission valid are a matter for Wyre Council to consider. For BEIS, the order may only be reviewed without the developer’s consent in the very limited circumstances of the development breaching certain legal requirements or if there were other exceptional circumstances. The points we raised in our letter were considered, but at this time the Minister, on behalf of the Secretary of State, does not consider that either of these circumstances have been met and will not therefore revisit or review the consented development consent.
You can find the petition on change.org here.