By Craig Robinson
Thursday, November 22, 2012
PEOPLE living in the town most likely to be affected by the construction of any new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast will be able to get a closer look at the plans today.
EDF Energy is holding the first of its major Sizewell C consultation exhibitions at Leiston United Church in the High Street between 2pm and 8pm. A similar event will be held at the same venue tomorrow from 12.30pm until 4.30pm.
The French owned company revealed its initial proposals for the multi billion pound project earlier this week.
It included plans for road and rail alterations - although no suggestion of a “four village” bypass on the A12, environmental mitigations, worker accommodation and socio-economic effects.
Bosses are now encouraging as many people as possible to view the scheme - although one anti nuclear group has labelled the process “bogus”.
Charles Barnett, chairman of the Shut Down Sizewell Campaign, said they would not be taking part. Instead the government should invest in greener energy projects that will not have significant impact on the environment, he added.
He said: “Nuclear power is not safe and is not needed and there are suitable alternatives. People seize upon the idea of jobs and money, but if you go down the renewable route there will be more jobs, plenty of money, and it is cheaper.
“Through this project an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) on our wonderful Suffolk coast will be wrecked – and for what?
“We will not support this consultation, which we believe is bogus, because it doesn’t give people the choice to say whether they want nuclear or not.”
The Government earmarked Sizewell as a potential site for new nuclear build last year following its own consultations.
Joan Girling, chairperson for Communities Against Nuclear Expansion (CANE), who lives in Leiston and was in the town when both Sizewell A and B were built, said she had concerns about the size of the proposed development and its impact on the surrounding AONB and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Among other fears she also said she was worried that once the building work finished it could lead to high levels of unemployment.
“I was a county councillor at the time when Sizewell B was completed and I dealt with lots of cases of businesses going bust and young people struggling because the work was no longer there,” she said. “It was only a short term gain.”
A series of 12 consultation exhibitions will be held at various venues in east Suffolk over the coming weeks and people have until February 6 to send in their comments.
EDF Energy has pledged to build long term sustainable skills for workers and ensure many of those are transferrable to open up the chance for future employment once the power station has been built.
The company’s Richard Mayson, said: “Sizewell C would generate enough electricity to supply one in five homes in Britain. It would make an important contribution to the UK’s future needs for low-carbon, secure and affordable energy. It would also create significant business, training and employment opportunities locally, regionally and throughout the UK.
“I urge people to play an active role in this consultation process. We are committed to giving feedback serious consideration and will take it into account as we prepare detailed plans for Sizewell C.”
For more details go to http://sizewell.edfenergyconsultation.info or visit the EDF Sizewell C office at 48-50 High Street in Leiston.