Concern over unanswered questions as Sizewell C plans progress
PUBLISHED: 16:25 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:25 24 August 2020
Community leaders say there are still “many unknowns” over the proposals for a new £20billion nuclear power plant on the Suffolk coast – and work is taking place on mitigation and funding packages should it receive the go-ahead.
East Suffolk Council is preparing to submit its views on EDF Energy’s Sizewell C project, currently being considered by the Planning Inspectorate.
On September 3 councillors will discuss a draft report and then on September 21 the final version.
Council leader Steve Gallant says it is essential east Suffolk remains “open for business” during the twin reactor’s decade-long construction, and the council is working with stakeholders, government and EDF to “to get the best possible outcome for East Suffolk”.
He said: “I am clear that if the potential concerns cannot be fully mitigated, we will require fully funded programmes to further compensate any adverse impacts.
“Furthermore, I entirely acknowledge there is a difficult balance to be struck between supporting the national and local economy and the environmental impacts this proposal will have in such a sensitive location and I want to hear from all our councillors about local concerns so that this information can be fed in to the final submission.
“Additionally, particularly given Sizewell’s location, this scheme must be placed in the context of the known and planned growth which we support as part of our Strategic Plan. The cumulative impact of many projects will put pressure on our transport network and we will seek to work with all partners, including Highways England and Suffolk County Council, to ensure East Suffolk will remain open for business throughout the build programme and remains an attractive place to visit, to support our fantastic tourism offer and the many communities that are dependent on it.”
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Craig Rivett, deputy council leader and lead member for the Sizewell C project, said: “The report contains a detailed early assessment of all the submission material and it is clear that whilst many aspects of the proposal are now clear there are still many unknowns that we want to understand further before finalising our position on all aspects.
“This scheme can provide a huge opportunity for our economy and skills both now and for many future generations of our area; however, it absolutely must limit impacts on our fantastic habitat and landscape. On submission of the Relevant Representation we will want to continue engaging with EDF and all other stakeholders to work through all the outstanding issues including formulating the mitigation and funding packages.”
Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, Sizewell C managing director, said: “We remain focused on ensuring Sizewell C is good for Suffolk and committed to mitigating, and if appropriate compensating, for adverse impacts on the community and environment.
“The project will deliver jobs, training and a boost in skills leading to sustainable well-paid careers, as we have seen at Sizewell B. Our work with education leaders will equip the next generation of workers with access to those jobs and others in the region.
“Furthermore, our links with local charities such as Inspire Suffolk and ACT will widen the access to fulfilling careers.
“We welcome continuing to work with East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council on this and all areas of the project as the planning process continues.”
As part of the Development Consent Order process, all interested parties must submit their views on the project (Relevant Representations) to the Planning Inspectorate by September 30 so that the Examiners can consider all issues and prepare an Examination of the proposal.
Receipt of Relevant Representations from all parties to the Planning Inspectorate is the start of the process that will continue through a formal Examination period which East Suffolk Council will take part in, before the Planning Inspectorate’s Examining Authority submit a report to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who will make the final decision.
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