Campaigners claim concerns over new nuclear power plant ‘not taken seriously’ by energy boss

The TEAGS' Paul Collins wants EDF's chief to meet with campaigners face to face Picture: SARAH LUCY

The TEAGS' Paul Collins wants EDF's chief to meet with campaigners face to face Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Campaigners concerned about the impact of Sizewell C on Suffolk have complained the energy giant’s chief “ignored” an invitation to meet.

EDF Energy’s chive executive officer Simone Rossi addressed the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Kesgrave on Friday – but disappointed campaign groups by choosing not to visit.

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell C (TEAGs) had invited Mr Rossi to visit communities in east Suffolk most affected by EDF’s proposals for a new nuclear power plant.

However, eight months later, TEAGS was told by EDF the letter could not be located.

TEAGs member Paul Collins said: “Despite being in post for eight months and speaking about Sizewell regularly to the national media, Simone Rossi appears surprisingly reluctant to visit us.

“If EDF really wants to show its commitment to engagement, Simone Rossi will make it a priority to come and meet the community that is on the frontline of Sizewell C and D and that will suffer a cumulative and disproportionate impact during construction. He owes it to the people of east Suffolk to come and hear our concerns face to face and ensure that EDF meets its stated obligations before the next round of consultation.”

Charles Macdowell of the B1122 Action Group said local views “are not being taken seriously”.

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He said the group’s concerns about the B1122 not being fit for purpose and the proposed workers’ campus at Eastbridge were widely shared.

“Unless significant changes are made, we will have to conclude that EDF’s consultation process is purely symbolic and that the company has never had any intention of addressing local concerns,” he added.

Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director, said EDF had met with members of TEAGs in May, discussed their concerns and offered a follow-up meeting. “We are also going to organise a visit for the group to see Hinkley Point C, in Somerset, as they said this would be helpful,” he added. “Our meeting with TEAGs is part of a commitment to meet and keep open communications with a wide variety of organisations in the areas close to our development proposals.”

Mr Crawford added EDF’s Leiston High Street office was open during the week for people to visit.