Changes submitted for Sizewell C project to cut HGV construction traffic
- Credit: Archant
Significant changes have been put forward to the plans for the £20billion Sizewell C nuclear power station to cut the number of lorries on Suffolk’s roads and curb its impact on the environment.
EDF Energy has submitted 14 changes to the twin reactor project with the full details set to be released today – and a 30-day public consultation to take place next month.
The main changes involve making more use of rail and sea to deliver construction materials for the massive project, with an increase in trains and alterations to the proposed beach landing facility.
It is also planned to reduce the use of AONB land on the Sizewell estate by working closely with Sizewell A, which is being decommissioned, and by using existing land for critical buildings that need to be moved to allow construction to get under way.
In addition, Sizewell C is proposing additional land for the creation of fen meadow to further increase the ‘net gain’ in biodiversity following completion of project.
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The changes are a response to feedback from Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council as well as residents, MPs and other stakeholders.
Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, Sizewell C managing director, said: “We take the feedback from the councils, MPs and local people extremely seriously and would like to make these updates to our proposals in good time so they can be considered by the Planning Inspectorate and all interested parties during the next phase of this process.
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“We hope these changes will give even greater confidence to local communities that the benefits of this project for Suffolk will far outweigh the potential impacts during construction.”
The Planning Inspectorate will publish the changes document. Following the consultation on the changes – which will start on November 16 – the next stage in the process is the public examination, which is unlikely to start until next year. The consultation will be operated in strict accordance with the pandemic guidelines.
Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and public protection, Richard Rout said: “Whilst I welcome the fact EDF Energy indicate they want to start listening to Suffolk’s communities, at this point there remain a great number of concerns regarding their proposals for Sizewell C.
“I look forward to the start of this new 30-day period of public consultation from November 16, which will enable all concerned communities and this authority to fully understand every detail of what EDF Energy is prepared to change as part of any future submission for a new nuclear site.
“I am pleased they have taken our position seriously and have reflected that their current proposal needed much more work, particularly in terms of their proposed transport strategy. However, we remain deeply concerned by the proposed pylons at the main site and the impact of the proposals on our natural environment and AONB.
“I strongly encourage everyone who has a view on Sizewell C to take this opportunity to take part in EDF Energy’s additional consultation and thoroughly review all aspects of the proposed changes to their development plan.”
Other steps taken to improve the benefits from the project include an increase from 1,000 to 1,500 apprenticeships; launch of Young Sizewell C to provide links through education into training and jobs with Sizewell C and other regional companies; a pathway for students leaving education now to start work on Hinkley Point C and then return to the Sizewell C project in an advanced role; and allocating an apprenticeship levy to enable local firms to take on apprentices in critical skills areas for the region.