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Sizewell C ‘consultation bus’ defended – after Bill Turnbull brands it ‘feeble box ticking’

The mobile Sizewell C planning application library. Picture: BILL TURNBULL

The mobile Sizewell C planning application library. Picture: BILL TURNBULL

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TV presenter Bill Turnbull’s criticism of Sizewell C’s mobile consultation bus as nothing more than “feeble box ticking” has been rejected by the firm behind plans for the nuclear power station on Suffolk’s coast.

The former BBC Breakfast presenter, who has a home near Saxmundham, took to Twitter to criticise the “minimal publicity” of the bus.

He also hit out at the opportunity people have had to view the plans, with a maximum of 12 appointments a day on the bus during the coronavirus crisis.

MORE: ‘Sizewell C? Not for me’ – Bill Turnbull on why he’s opposing huge nuclear project

A spokeswoman for Stop Sizewell C said that while “we appreciate the sentiment in bringing the mobile library to communities, the feedback we received is mostly that people didn’t know about it and the arrangements are somewhat impractical”.

Bill Turnbull on Sizewell beach  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBill Turnbull on Sizewell beach Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

However, a spokeswoman for EDF Energy - which is has just submitted a planning application to build the £20billion plant next to the existing Sizewell B station - said the bus is “one of a number of ways people can access the information”.

MORE: EDF ‘pleased’ as Sizewell C plans cleared for next phase

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It also said the mobile library “has been well received in the area, including visits by young people interested in how they find out about working with the project”.

A CGI of what the Sizewell C nuclear power station will look like  Picture: EDF EnergyA CGI of what the Sizewell C nuclear power station will look like Picture: EDF Energy

The EDF spokeswoman added that 44,000 newsletters had also been delivered to residents about the project, with posters on community noticeboards and adverts in newspapers.

EDF has also sent letters and notices to a database of hard to reach people, the spokesman said.

The firm lodged its proposal for a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast with the Planning Inspectorate in May.

They have been deemed to be satisfactory by communities secretary Robert Jenrick the next stage, meaning the public now has a chance to examine the documents before a detailed, final proposal is revealed.

A spokeswoman for Stop Sizewell C added that the limited space available on the bus made it difficult for people to look at everything they wanted to.

She said EDF should consider bringing the bus back on tour in early September, so that visitors can plan more effectively what they would like to look at.

“Left as it is, the bus looks like - as Bill’s tweet put it - a feeble box ticking exercise,” the spokeswoman added.


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