In December 2018 I met with residents, city councillors and senior planning officers from the City Council and took action to provide clarification regarding the activity of AQUIND Limited, who had been causing distress and confusion to many thousands of residents across the city.
I also took the matter up with the Ministry on the same day, who was able to provide clarification for myself as the Member of Parliament for Portsmouth North and for the many residents affected across both constituencies.
I was able to speak to both Aquind to make them aware of the distress that they had caused and also demanded that they sent a letter of clarification to put residents minds at ease, and to provide clarity to constituents of both Portsmouth constituencies on their activities and intentions.
One of the requests made to Aquind was to send a letter clarifying matters for residents, which they have now sent the draft of and will start to send out to constituents.
I will keep you advised of this matter as it does or doesn't progress. If you need any further help around this matter, you can contact Aquind directly:
"For more information on the proposals for AQUIND Interconnector, you may contact us via the project’s consultation website at www.aquindconsultation.co.uk, via freephone on 01962 893869, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via freepost ‘AQUIND CONSULTATION’."
or contact my office on 02392 375377 or email me: email@example.com
Penny Mordaunt MP.
Letter from AQUIND:
Date: 03 January 2019
Further to my previous correspondence, dated 06 November 2018, I wanted to write to provide you with further information regarding the Land Interest Questionnaire (LIQ) which was sent to you in relation to AQUIND Interconnector and to clarify the purpose of this.
As you may be aware, AQUIND Limited intends to make an application for a Development Consent Order (‘DCO’) which, if granted would authorise AQUIND to build and operate a new marine and underground power transmission link between the South Coast of England and Normandy in France – known as ‘AQUIND Interconnector’.
As part of the planning process, AQUIND has a legal duty to carry out diligent inquiries to identify all owners of land that might be affected by its application for a DCO.
The purpose of this exercise is to identify those persons who have an interest in the land potentially affected by the project so as to allow those persons to be consulted directly by AQUIND regarding the project and their comments taken into account and addressed as necessary prior to an application for a DCO being finalised. The information gathered will also be used to assist with the production of documentation to be submitted in support of the application for a DCO.
Using Land Registry records, we have identified you as having an interest in land potentially affected by the project. I therefore wrote to you on 06 November 2018 to request further information via a Land Interest Questionnaire.
I wanted to get in touch again to explain that it is not intended that the underground cable for AQUIND Interconnector will be laid within the boundary of any homes or gardens along the proposed cable route. As such it is not anticipated at this stage that any land comprised in or rights over any homes or gardens will be required in connection with AQUIND Interconnector.
Much of the underground cable for AQUIND Interconnector is proposed to be located beneath public highways. However, where no owner of the subsoil of a highway is registered at the Land Registry or otherwise identifiable, there is a legal assumption that you own the subsoil of the highway outside your house up to the middle of the road, and that the homeowner opposite you owns the subsoil of the highway on the other side of the road.
It is in this capacity that you have been identified as having an interest in land potentially affected by the project and, hence why we have been in touch to request further information from you.
There is no duty for you to complete the Land Interest Questionnaire, however we encourage you to do so to ensure the information held is up to date and correct and so that all future communication regarding the proposals for AQUIND Interconnector can be directed towards the correct persons.
I hope this provides a useful update regarding the purpose of the Land Interest Questionnaire you were sent. For further information, I provide responses to Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) on the reverse of this letter which I hope you will find useful. Further information about the Land Interest Questionnaire process is available on the project website at: www.aquindconsultation.co.uk/faqs/
If you have any queries regarding the Land Interest Questionnaire, you can contact WSP by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 020 311 6978
For more information on the proposals for AQUIND Interconnector, you may contact us via the project’s consultation website at www.aquindconsultation.co.uk, via freephone on 01962 893869, via email at email@example.com or via freepost ‘AQUIND CONSULTATION’.
We would like to thank you in advance for your assistance and look forward to receiving your response as soon as possible.
AQUIND Interconnector Project Manager – WSP
Frequently Asked Questions Will my property be affected by the proposals?
It is not intended that the high voltage underground cable will be laid within the boundary of any homes or gardens along its route, and as such it is not anticipated at this stage that any land comprised in or rights over any homes or gardens will be required in connection with AQUIND Interconnector.
Why have you contacted me when only the subsoil beneath the highway in front of my property is potentially affected?
Where no owner of the subsoil of a highway is registered at the Land Registry or otherwise identifiable, it is assumed that you own the subsoil of the highway outside your house up to the middle of the road, and that the home owner opposite you owns the subsoil of the highway on the other side of the road.
Why are you seeking information in relation to potential ownership of the subsoil of the highway?
We are obliged to identify and consult with the owners of the subsoil beneath the highway prior to submitting our DCO application. Since your property abuts the highway, you will have received a
Land Interest Questionnaire from us. The purpose of this questionnaire is to help us confirm whether you or any other party have an interest in the subsoil beneath the highway.
While the plan enclosed with the Land Interest Questionnaire showed all of your property, please be assured that it is only the highway outside your property which is potentially affected by the proposals.
What is the process through which AQUIND Limited will acquire the highway subsoil?
Assuming the Applicant is granted a DCO which includes powers of compulsory purchase, the Applicant will acquire the subsoil following the giving of notices. You will not be required to take any action to effect this.
Will I receive compensation for the subsoil acquired?
Where land is acquired by compulsory purchase there is a duty on the party acquiring it to pay the owner its market value. The subsoil of a highway is not recognised to have any market value because there is no market for strips of subsoil. The Applicant will therefore not be offering any payments in connection with the acquisition of the subsoil of the highway.
Has the route of the interconnector cable been fixed?
Details of the project, including the route of the cable, continue to evolve. The latest route to be made publicly available is set out on the project website and can be found at www.aquindconsultation.co.uk/onshore-elements-of-aquind-interconnector-in-the-uk/.
What will the information I provide be used for?
The information collected via the Land Interest Questionnaires will be used to identify those persons who have an interest in land potentially affected by AQUIND Interconnector, so as to allow those persons to be consulted directly by the Applicant on the proposals and their comments taken into account and addressed as necessary prior to the proposals being finalised. The information gathered will also be used to assist with the production of documentation to be submitted in support of the application of the DCO.
Will I be contacted further in relation to my ownership of the subsoil beneath the highway?
As explained in a previous letter sent to you dated XX November 2018, you have no duty to respond to our questionnaire. We do however encourage you to do so.
As part of our duty to identify who owns the land potentially affected by the project it is normal practice to visit properties where the questionnaire has not been returned to confirm the information we hold. Visits to properties which are potentially affected by the project will take place over the coming weeks.
You will also be contacted again by mail prior to the beginning of the formal public consultation. Further information in this regard is below.
When will I receive more information about the project?
We will be holding a formal consultation on the proposals early next year. We would welcome your input, and that of the rest of the local community, as part of the consultation process. It is our intention to minimise any adverse impact during the laying of the cable, and we will be setting out our plans to ensure this as part of our consultation.