Sizewell C is to help pay for a huge new water pipeline from Barsham on the Suffolk/Norfolk border to Saxmundham.

The new nuclear plant planned for Leiston says it is starting formal talks this month with Essex and Suffolk Water - which is part of Northumbrian Water - about helping to fund the 28km (17 mile) stretch. The water company has a water treatment works at Barsham.

Once built, the new pipeline would not only supply the power plant but would also increase water availability in the local area.

"It will be sized to provide more water than Sizewell C needs, increasing water availability for the local area too," the company said.

"Sizewell C will help to pay for the new pipeline, which will be capable of delivering more water than the area around Sizewell C will need by the early 2030s."

Julia Pyke, co-managing director of Sizewell C, said the new infrastructure would help boost the area's water resilience.

“Despite the recent floods in the area, East Anglia is one of the driest parts of the country and has been classified by the Environment Agency as a Serious Water Stressed Area.

"Through our water supply plan for Sizewell C, we’ll be able to play our part in helping to deliver a secure and sustainable water supply for the area in the long term.

“The new pipeline will help meet the wider demand and build resilience in the water network in the area.

"And it’s another example of how Sizewell C is leading the way to tackle climate change and its consequences head-on.”

Sizewell C has already announced plans to install a temporary desalination plant powered by Sizewell B to provide it with water during its construction phase.

It has also pledged to "help to increase water availability and help build a more resilient water network for the region". It cannot say at this stage how much it will be stumping up for the new pipeline.

The pipeline is one of a package of investments proposed by Essex and Suffolk Water to the Department for Food, Environment & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) with the aim of maintaining a secure water supply for residents while supporting economic growth and protecting the environment.