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 towards the end of in 2023. We have been and will continue to work with communities and other stakeholders before this to develop and refine our Scheme in more detail.

Now our statutory consultation has closed, we will review all comments and suggestions that have been received during the consultation period. We will take time to consider and have regard to feedback when making further refinements to our proposed design and developing our planned mitigation measures.  

We will set out a summary of the responses received 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 later this year. 

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
April 2022
Project Inception
April to June 2022
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Baseline Surveys
July 2022
Collaboration workshops held with stakeholders
September to October 2022
Post-collaboration workshop report and community newsletter issued
July to November 2022
EIA Scoping Stage
November 2022
Scoping Opinion issued by Planning Inspectorate (PINS)
December 2022 to May 2023
Preparation of Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR)
May to July 2023
Statutory consultation
July to November 2023
Ongoing engagement with stakeholders and local community
July to November 2023
Preparation of DCO Application and associated documents, including Environmental Statement
November 2023
Anticipated DCO Submission
December 2023
Acceptance by PINS
January to April 2024
Pre-examination period (estimated to last up to four months)
May to October 2024
November to January 2025
Recommendation to Secretary of State (within 3 months of examination)
February to April 2025
Decision (within 3 months of Recommendation)