The SOLAR Campaign’s Scoping Report for the DCO is Published

We are pleased to share the SOLAR campaign’s scoping specification report produced as support for the consultation process as part of the Development Consent Order planning application process for TDRA.

What is this scoping report, and why are we producing it?

Thames Water is required, as part of the Development Consent Order planning application approval process, to undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This Planning Inspectorate is part of central Government and will consider TDRA as a ‘National Infrastructure Project’. 

Given our campaign’s standing with Thames Water as a ‘community representative,’ we anticipated that we would be participating in the EIA Scoping specification stage. However, Thames Water have refused to permit SOLAR’s inclusion as a consultee.

Consequently, the SOLAR campaign has produced this report to have it referred to and considered by the Councils impacted by TDRA. All Councils are statutory consultees in the DCO process. As applicants, Thames Water must consult with the general public and local authorities, namely Richmond, Kingston and Hounslow councils.  

A ‘development consent order’ process differs greatly from an individual planning application. Local authorities are not the individual decision-makers. Rather, they are amongst a group of consultees. However, they still have a significant influence on the process. 

The next steps in the DCO process require Thames Water to set out a ‘scope for consultation’, namely what they consider to be the key areas for TDRA’s environmental impact assessment (EIA).  Given our experience working with Thames Water over the last 12 months, we fully expect the water company will propose a very limited scope. We have, therefore, drafted our own version and shared it with the three local authorities.  We are looking to Richmond, Kingston and Hounslow councils to raise these issues with Thames Water when they engage with them at this stage of TDRA’s pre-assessment.   

The study’s purpose

The purpose of this study has been to specify issues of concern broadly relating to the social/recreational/health impacts of TDRA as identified by affected communities. Thames Water’s studies to date are largely absent of consideration of these dimensions.

As a result of direct engagement with affected communities, the report recommends an evidenced-based assessment of both general dimensions of impact across communities, as well as of identified impact conditions unique to specific locations. The report recommends measures appropriate to assess current baseline conditions and the potential future impact of TDRA proposals, and also recommendations as to survey questions and quantification of responses as appropriate.

You can read our EIA scoping document for Kingston Council here.

You can read our EIA scoping document for Richmond Council here.

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