The examining officer with responsibility for the South Humber Bank Energy Centre application has taken the unusual step of asking for a flight plan for a drone survey of the site instead of organising a site visit. The officer was responding to the applicant’s concerns over Covid-19 restrictions – the existing power station at the site is classed as critical infrastructure, with only necessary visits permitted in order to minimise transmission to workers.
The officer asked for “submission of a detailed flight plan for an UAV with a view to undertaking a comprehensive high-resolution video of the proposed development site”. Planning lawyer Angus Walker of BDB Pitmans notes in his regular blog that this is the first time this has been undertaken.
The drone flight plan has to be submitted by 20 January and interested parties can comment by 19 February. The examining officer has noted that some flexibility may be required on the flight depending on weather – a courtesy that may not necessarily have been extended to human inspection visits.
The officer said most other necessary visits had already been completed.