'Human wall' protest to highlight power project beach impact

Sizewell Beach

The sea defences will be built along this stretch leading to Sizewell B if the proposed twin reactor project is given the go-ahead by government - Credit: STOP SIZEWELL C

More than 200 people are expected to form a 'human wall' on Sunday to protest about the feared "catastrophic" impact a power project could have on a much-loved beach.

The protest - described by organisers as a peaceful event suitable for all the family - will take place on Sizewell Beach and aims to highlight the impact of planned sea defences.

EDF has proposed hard defences to protect the new Sizewell C nuclear power station if it gets the go-ahead.

But opponents are worried at the changes to be made to what is currently a rural unspoiled stretch of shore enjoyed by local residents and visitors.

Alison Downes of Stop Sizewell C

Alison Downes from the Stop Sizewell C campaign - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Alison Downes, of Stop Sizewell C, said: ”Sizewell beach is loved by dog walkers, families, runners and others.

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"Many don’t realise what a catastrophic effect EDF’s proposed sea defences would have on this wonderful area that we all enjoy. 

"Sunday's event is intended to make that clear by showing how much will be buried and lost, perhaps forever. We warmly invite everyone to join us in an event that will be suitable for all the family.”

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The event starts at 10am on Sunday, September 19 and people should meet on Sizewell Beach to form the human wall. 

Rachel Fulcher and Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth has carried out a study of coastal change in

Rachel Fulcher of Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth said the coastal site was nationally important - Credit: Dominic Whiten

Rachel Fulcher, of Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth, said: “This beach is nationally important because of the rare plants and insects that thrive here, such as Sea Pea, Grayling Butterfly and Brown-banded Carder Bee.

"The area of vegetated shingle is one of only six such sites in the whole of the UK, yet EDF’s sea defences would bury large swathes of it under rock armour."

Pete Wilkinson, from Together Against Sizewell C, said: “This development is not needed.  It will have only a marginal benefit on climate change, represents an unacceptably slow response to the climate emergency,  taking 12 years to build and leaves a post-construction carbon debt of millions of tonnes and a devastated environment.

TASC chair Pete Wilkinson Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

TASC chair Pete Wilkinson - Credit: sarah lucy brown

"The site is too small, nuclear power leaves a legacy of radioactive waste for future generations to manage, it’s dangerous, pollutes the air and the sea, it’s not green and needs to be consigned to the dustbin.”   

An EDF spokesperson said: "Sizewell C will avoid millions of tonnes of CO2 each year and provide thousands of local jobs.

"We will look after the environment while we build the power station and our long-term plans will lead to a net gain in biodiversity. 

sizewell c

How Sizewell C will look if given the go-ahead - Credit: Archant

"The Sizewell beach will remain accessible to the public during construction of the power station, apart from very short term access restrictions which will only be in place for safety reasons as we build the beach landing facilities and sea defences.

"This infrastructure will enable us to deliver more equipment and materials by sea, thereby keeping more lorries off Suffolk roads. 

"The sea defences for Sizewell C will be landscaped just as they were for Sizewell B, which now forms part of the much loved beach landscaping.

"While the defences will extend further out than Sizewell B’s, they will not encroach on the heritage coast footpath. During construction and operation members of the public will be able to continue to enjoy Sizewell beach."

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