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Campaigners welcome Suffolk’s tougher stance on Sizewell C concerns

PUBLISHED: 17:30 01 February 2017

Protest group members and Suffolk county councillors, pictured  outside Endeavour House before Suffolk County Council's extraordinary cabinet meeting.

Protest group members and Suffolk county councillors, pictured outside Endeavour House before Suffolk County Council's extraordinary cabinet meeting.

Campaigners seeking a better deal from Suffolk’s new nuclear power plant have been “heartened” by the county’s firmer stance on the proposals.

Protest group members and Suffolk county councillors  pictured  outside Endeavour House before Suffolk County Council's extraordinary cabinet meetingProtest group members and Suffolk county councillors pictured outside Endeavour House before Suffolk County Council's extraordinary cabinet meeting

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet agreed its official response to EDF Energy’s latest Sizewell C consultation this week, calling for more evidence and other options to be considered.

Councillors Michael Gower and Richard Smith also called for Suffolk to take a more “robust” role. Mr Gower said Suffolk needed a 12-point action plan.

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) and B1122 Action Group, have welcomed the response, which was created with Suffolk Coastal District Council.

The groups have previously raised concerns over proposals for a five-storey accommodation campus near RSPB Minsmere and to use the B1122 as a main transport route, as well as environmental issues to do with the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. TEAGS’ Alison Downes, who called for a “full review of potential alternative sites for the accommodation campus” during the meeting, said her members had been “heartened by the strong words” on the key issues.

“We echo the call by councillors Gower and Smith for the council’s position to be strengthened still further, including the idea of a 12 point plan to lay down stringent terms to EDF for the development of Sizewell C,” she added.

“Such a plan must include dispersal of the worker accommodation, a dedicated relief road, no quarries or spoil heaps and dramatically increased commitments on environmental protection.”

Charles Macdowell, of the B1122 Action Group, added: “The two councils have called EDF’s bluff. EDF are only now kidding themselves when they say that the narrow B1122 can take as many as 1,500 HGVs and buses a day without real risks to local people, and damage to their homes. Their stubborn refusal to consider a relief road is now indefensible. We have been hugely reassured by both Councils’ determination to stick up for local people and their very real concerns.”

Bob Hoggar, of Together Against Sizewell C, also spoke at the meeting, saying the power station would harm the AONB.

EDF said it had engaged with more than 3,500 people during the consultation and there would be further opportunities for people to put their views forward.

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