Council looks to avoid hefty nuclear bill

COUNCIL chiefs are looking to secure an agreement that will ensure taxpayers are not left with a hefty bill should a new nuclear reactor be built in Suffolk.

EDF Energy is currently drawing up plans for a Sizewell C power station that could be in operation by the end of the decade.

However the county council fears the costs involved in assessing the proposals and their potential impact – for both them and the district authority – could run in to hundreds and thousands of pounds.

A report to cabinet, to be discussed at a meeting on Tuesday, April 27, says this could cause considerable problems in a period of financial restraint.

As a result it recommends the council draw up a Planning Performance Agreement with EDF in a bid to get the energy company to meet the costs involved.

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The money would be spent on reinforcing existing staff and to appoint consultants, particularly to cover skill sets that the authority does not have in-house, to ensure it can adequately respond.

Any agreement would be carefully worded to ensure both councils retain their independence when looking at the proposals.

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A spokesman for the energy company said as the developer it was appropriate they should be expected to help meet any financial burden.

“We are discussing with the councils the ways in which this could be done,” he said.

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