Protestors gather as trees axed at Sizewell
- Credit: Rachel Smith-Lyte
Protestors have gathered to oppose EDF Energy cutting down woodland trees as part of its planned £20billion Sizewell C nuclear power station development.
Demonstrators gathered in Coronation Wood, adjacent to Sizewell B, on Wednesday in opposition to the energy giant axing several trees to make way for new offices.
EDF has pledged to replace the trees that have been lost and said the proposed Sizewell C nuclear reactor would represent a biodiversity net gain upon completion.
A legal challenge by Joan Girling, of Together Against Sizewell C, to prevent EDF from starting the work in the woodland was dismissed by the High Court in October.
The campaigners filed a submission to the Court of Appeal but the case failed last month.
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It has been reported that the government is close to giving the Sizewell C project, which EDF says could create 25,000 jobs, the green light.
EDF is planning to relocate several buildings related to Sizewell B onto the land at Coronation Wood in preparation of work beginning at the planned £20billion reactor.
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Environmental campaigner Rachel Smyth-Lyte said the planting of new trees to replace those lost would be "useless" and expressed concern over the scheme's environmental impact.
She said: "The climate emergency that was declared last year hasn't gone away.
"Covid will come and go, but this is still happening.
"A sapling of any variety will be useless to wildlife for 15 years. It's really intricate and incredibly important.
"We just can't afford to lose these trees. These trees are part of a mosaic."
A spokesman for EDF for said: "Sizewell C has a vital role to play in tackling the climate crisis and helping the UK meet its net zero target.
"The station would save 9million tonnes of carbon dioxide during operation and deliver low-carbon electricity to 6million homes at a time when our use of electricity is predicted to increase.
"When complete, Sizewell C will deliver a biodiversity net gain to the area.
"Following the High Court ruling that the decision to grant planning permission for the relocation of some Sizewell B buildings on EDF land, we have started the site preparation work.
"We have started planting the replacement woodland, which will be made up of over 2,500 trees."