Therese has this week written to the Planning Inspectorate opposing the suggestion that the Scottish Power Renewables applications for substations at Friston and associated cabling be heard only virtually. Instead, she has asked that they consider a hybrid hearing to enable local people to put their case.
Constituents have raised the following points, which she has made to the Planning Inspectorate:
- That the absence of meetings and hearings in the local area where the developments are proposed will lead to the perception that the community’s voice is being even further weakened.
- That digital technology is not always entirely reliable and is no substitute for interacting and communicating with somebody in the same physical space, particularly when there are complex and difficult issues to discuss.
- Aside from engaging with the virtual event directly, there will also be the need for participants to communicate between themselves and their advisers. Digital technology will inhibit that easy interaction.
- The community has varying degrees of familiarity and confidence in using digital technology. This will act to exclude people from full participation in the examination process.
Photo: The public meeting on the matter, that I held last year.