Following Angus MP Dave Doogan raising SSEN’s flawed consultation on the Kintore-Tealing line on the floor of the House of Commons, the MP has received a written response from Grant Shapps MP, the UK’s Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.
However, Dave Doogan MP has said that the letter “falls far short” of the response his Angus constituents, and anywhere else similarly affected, deserve on this issue.
The letter gives an outline of the current application process, but states that “…whilst there is an expectation for pre-application engagement there is no statutory requirement.” This means that applicants like SSEN do not legally have to consult communities before they submit an application. Further, under the Electricity Act 1989, there is an “expectation” that applicants hold at least two in-person consultation events – but this is not a legal requirement.
Commenting following the letter, Doogan said:
“Despite pressure on the UK Government, there seems to be no appetite from them to introduce meaningful minimum consultation standards for projects like this and to underpin this on a statutory basis.
“My constituents have been badly let down by the SSEN consultation; and this response from the Secretary of State falls far short of what is needed to reassure them that this can never happen again.
“I will continue to press the UK Government on this important failure of UK regulation, and my work with communities over SSEN’s renewed and improved outreach to Angus constituents regarding SSEN’s ambitions in our communities.”
Letter from Grant Shapps MP below (ALT text provided):