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Leiston: Concern voiced over ‘lack of information’ about nuclear proposal

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 January 2013

Sizewell C plans

Sizewell C plans

Archant

A TOWN council has formulated its initial response to the ongoing pre-application consultation for Sizewell C power station.

A letter from Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council will now be drafted in reaction to each element of EDF Energy’s proposal for a new twin reactor immediately north of the existing Sizewell B plant.

Ray Ricks and James Bailey, of independent consultant Boyer Planning, heard the thoughts of councillors and residents at a public meeting specially convened to discuss the application.

Mr Ricks shared the concerns of a number of consultees over a “lack of information” included in the pre-application, and suggested EDF should move to a more detailed “Stage 1A” before adopting a second phase of consultation.

Councillor John Last agreed, saying it was “very difficult to form opinions without detailed data.”

On the issue of accommodating the large number of workers during construction of the plant, the council felt that none of the three proposed “campus” sites were suitable, instead favouring smaller sites further away from the town.

On the overall strategy of transporting materials to the site, chairman Terry Hodgson concluded that the council would “favour a hierarchy of sea, rail and then road”.

He added: “ We have to know how they will manage traffic. There is not enough information on the movement of HGV traffic to make a judgement.”

Regarding the impact of traffic and possible improvements to road infrastructure, the council voted in favour of a bypass for the four villages of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham.

But councillor Bill Howard said: “Whichever bypass route is taken, it will be through beautiful countryside. I know it’s against the grain but I don’t think the weight of traffic justifies it.”

As for extensions to the railway, the council expressed a unanimous preference for the so-called “Blue Route” around Leiston, but still had “serious concerns” about environment impact and views from Leiston Abbey. Other agreed requirements included the strengthening of emergency service and extra police, paid for by EDF. Meanwhile, councillor Trevor Hawkins suggested investment and emphasis on maths and sciences in local schools to help properly train potential plant employees.

The council agreed to include in its response that the Lover’s Lane recycling centre would require upgrading, and that there should be no development at Pill Box Field, within an area of outstanding natural beauty. Its response will also include a list of Section 106 agreement desires.

The council will meet to ratify the document on January 22.

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