Planning
Process

Given that the project would generate more than 50MW of renewable energy, Tillbridge Solar is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). This means that we need to submit a Development Consent Order (DCO) application to the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

The Secretary of State will appoint an independent Examining Authority to scrutinise the development consent application in accordance with the relevant legislation (the Planning Act 2008). The Secretary of State will ask the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) to run the examination of the DCO application. Following this period of examination, PINS will make a recommendation to the Secretary of State as to whether to grant development consent.

You can read more information about the DCO planning process on the PINS website here.

We are planning to submit our full application to the Planning Inspectorate in 2024. We have been and will continue to work with communities and other stakeholders before this to develop and refine our Scheme in more detail.

Since our statutory consultation closed in July 2023, we have been reviewing all comments and suggestions and are continuing to have regard to this feedback. This has resulted in some minor changes to the draft Order limits which we are now consulting on as part of a targeted statutory consultation between 14 December 2023 and 25 January 2024. 

We will set out a summary of the responses received throughout our pre-application consultation in a Consultation Report, with details on how feedback has shaped and influenced the proposals. This report will form part of our application for a DCO, which we expect to submit in 2024.  

You will be able to register your interest in our proposals directly with the Planning Inspectorate, who will then inform you about the progress of our application during the examination process, and let you know about further opportunities you will have to inform and contribute to the planning process. 

Opportunities for collaboration

Given the proximity of our Scheme to Island Green Power’s Cottam and West Burton solar projects and Low Carbon’s Gate Burton Energy Park, we have been refining our plans to identify opportunities for collaborative working in regard to connection to National Grid’s Cottam substation.
This collaboration has included building an understanding of the extent of the respective Cable Route Corridors associated with each Scheme and how these might be able to sit alongside each other, ensuring that all routes can be brought forward to minimise land take and environmental impacts, including disruption during the construction phase.
We are continuing to work with Low Carbon and Island Green Power and this work, along with your comments during the statutory consultation and our ongoing studies and surveys, will help shape the final plans for our corridor submitted as part of our DCO application.

Latest information on Cumulative Effects can be found in PEI Report Volume I Chapter 17: Cumulative Effects. This summarises our early-stage assessments and will be updated as part of our final Environmental Statement. All PEI Report chapters can be found in our ‘Documents Library

We have been and will continue to work constructively with these other developers to ensure:

People are easily able to engage with each of our consultation processes and have opportunities to get involved.
All environmental effects are fully assessed, including any cumulative impacts.
A common-sense approach to construction is taken in order to minimise disruption, including sharing infrastructure and construction timelines, where feasible.

Indicative timeline

Group 19
July 2022
• Collaboration workshops held with stakeholders
May to July 2023
• Statutory consultation
Now
• Targeted consultation (Dec 23 to Jan 24) • Preparation of DCO Application and associated documents including Environmental Statement
Q1: 2024
• Anticipated DCO submission
Q2: 2024
• 28-day period for acceptance by PINS • Pre-examination period (estimated to last up to four months), where stakeholders can register as an Interested Party
Q3–Q4 2024
• Examination period by PINS on behalf of the SoS (estimated to last up to six months). The local community will be able to attend and take part in a series of hearings
Q2: 2025
• The panel of inspectors makes its recommendation to the SoS (within three months of the Examination concluding)
Q3: 2025
• Decision by the S0S to whether grant development consent (within 3 months of recommendation)
2025
• Earliest construction date
2027
• Earliest operational date