FOI 2015/09037 - Aurora Energy Resources Limited application to the Secretary of State in order to obtain access rights

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Department of Energy and Climate Change should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Department of Energy and Climate Change,

You kindly responded to my previous FOI request on this subject on 16th July 2015 as follows:

"I can confirm that only one application for ancillary access rights has been made to the Secretary of State. However, for the purpose of clarification, I would like to note that the application originally received related to 46 landowners. This same application was revised on 11th of June and narrowed down to cover only 4 landowners."

Please can you advise the outcome of Aurora's application for ancillary access rights and, if granted, when this expires?

Yours faithfully,

Maureen Mills

correspondence@bis.ecase.gsi.gov.uk on behalf of FOI Requests,

DECC Ref: FOI2016/08120

Dear Ms Mills

Thank you for your request for information which was received on 5th
April. Your request has been passed on to the appropriate official at the
Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to deal with.

Your request is being considered under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 and/or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004
and we will reply at the latest by 4th May.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact the Information
Rights Unit at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
who provide a shared service to DECC.

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

Kind regards,

Information Rights Unit

Information Rights Unit | Department for Business, Innovation & Skills | 1
Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0ET | www.gov.uk/bis |
[email address] | BIS have a shared service level agreement
with DECC to process and advise on their FOI requests

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is making a
difference by supporting sustained growth and higher skills across the
economy. BIS: working together for growth

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FOI Requests,

2 Attachments

Dear Ms Mills,

 

Thank you for your email of 5th April 2016 to the Department of Energy and
Climate Change (DECC) requesting confirmation of the outcome of Aurora
Energy Resources Limited’s  application for ancillary rights under the
Mines (Working Facilities and Support) Act 1966 (the “Mines Act”).

 

Your email does not contain a request for recorded information held by the
Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Where a 'request for
information' does not contain a specific request for copies of information
held by DECC, we deal with such requests as a 'normal course of business'
enquiry rather than a formal request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

 

The Secretary of State is required under the Mines Act to refer an
application to the court for determination where she considers a prima
facie case has been made. Please be aware that a reference to the court
does not prejudge the application. The prima facie case test is a
procedural step in order to enable the applicant to bring a case before
the court. The Secretary of State’s role is therefore a screening role
rather than a determinative one.

 

In relation to Aurora’s application, I can inform you that the Energy
Minister, Andrea Leadsom (on behalf of the Secretary of State) concluded
that a prima facie case had been made by the applicant in relation to
three of the four landowners. She therefore concluded that it was
appropriate to refer the matter to the court for determination (in respect
of these three landowners). This was communicated to Aurora and the
landowners.

 

However, subsequent to communicating this to Aurora and the landowners, we
were informed that negotiations on access rights between the relevant
landowners and Aurora had started to take place. In light of this change
in circumstances, it was considered appropriate to put the referral of the
matter to the court on hold for a short period to allow progression of
these negotiations.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Department of Energy and Climate Change

 

 

 

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Dear FOI Requests,

This relates to the response and I note that DECC have stated:

"However, subsequent to communicating this to Aurora and the landowners, we were informed that negotiations on access rights between the relevant landowners and Aurora had started to take place. In light of this change in circumstances, it was considered appropriate to put the referral of the matter to the court on hold for a short period to allow progression of these negotiations."

I shall be grateful if, after the "short period", the DECC will let me know the outcome of the negotiations or whether the matter has proceeded to court.

Yours sincerely,

Maureen Mills

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