Two wildlife hotspots to be created to offset Sizewell C’s potential environment impact
PUBLISHED: 11:26 25 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:26 25 September 2020
Two hotspots aimed at protecting wildlife and biodiversity are set to be created in Suffolk by EDF as part of plans to offset the potential impact of Sizewell C.
The energy firm has revealed plans to introduce the fen meadows in Halesworth and Benhall to offset the impact the proposed £20billion nuclear power station would have on the environment.
EDF has said the wildlife hotspots it is creating to compensate for Sizewell C will represent a “net gain” for biodiversity in the area.
If Sizewell C is built, around 0.7 hectares of fen meadow habitat in the Sizewell Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest would be permanently lost, EDF said.
The plans have attracted a catalogue concerns over the impact a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast would have on the environment, tourism and residents’ amenity.
A formal planning application for the station was submitted in May, with the government’s planning inspectorate clearing the proposals for the next stage the following month.
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Work on the meadows, which will be located near the Blyth Road Industrial Estate in Halesworth and east of Friday Street in Benhall, is due to start on Monday, October 5 and will likely last around three weeks.
The construction will require the use of drilling rigs and other vehicles, with work being carried out from 8am to 6pm.
In order to create the habitats, contractors will make changes to the landscape of the area to raise water levels.
EDF has already created 67 hectares of heathland and wetland habitat at Aldhurst Farm as part of its commitment to mitigate Sizewell C’s impact on the environment, should it be approved.
A spokesman for EDF said: “Our plans for Sizewell C will mean a net gain for biodiversity in the area. “To compensate for a small area of Sizewell Marshes needed during construction, we are rewilding areas that were once low grade arable land to create a mosaic of heathland, scrub, woodland, wetland and fen meadows.
“We are pleased to start site investigation works for the potential creation of two fen meadows in Benhall and Halesworth.
“Fen meadow habitats are not easy to create but using two sites greatly increases our chances of success and in the long term should lead to greater benefits for wildlife outside of the immediate Sizewell area.”
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