Multi-million pound package proposed to help east Suffolk mitigate Sizewell C

Rapid progress is being made on the first unit at Hinkley C, which shows how Sizewell C would look

Rapid progress is being made on the first unit at Hinkley C, which shows how Sizewell C would look Picture: EDF - Credit: Archant

A package of different projects are being drawn up to offset the impact of Sizewell C on east Suffolk – with help for housing, wildlife, tourism, the environment and communities.

Sizewell C will be built the other side of Sizewell B. To the left of Sizewell B is the old A site w

Sizewell C will be built the other side of Sizewell B. To the left of Sizewell B is the old A site which is being decommissioned Picture: CARL MARSTON - Credit: Archant

The benefits will be the subject of talks between EDF Energy, Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council (ESC) and while no final cost figure is available yet, it is likely to run into many millions of pounds.

EDF will also pour huge sums into boosting skills and education provision to help people access jobs on the 10-year construction of the twin reactor nuclear power station and to be ready for permanent jobs at the plant when it begins operating.

One of the innovations will be the setting up of a housing fund to help ESC to mitigate against any potential adverse effects on the local housing market arising from the temporary inflow of construction workers and their demand for accommodation that would otherwise be

used by residents.

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The cash will also help boost the supply of accommodation, including affordable housing, in the area, help improve capacity in the tourist accommodation sector, and aid work on homelessness.

Community projects will include the provision of a new 3G pitch and two multi-use games areas in Leiston. The sports facilities would be handed over to ESC along with a contribution for the maintenance of the pitches, which would also be available for use during construction for the workforce.

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Leiston Town Council has though drawn up an 18-point wish list of improvements they want EDF Energy to put in place if the Sizewell C is given the go-ahead, including a new community centre, improved sports facilities, creation of a community hub with an improved library, replacement of the Dinsdale Road toilets with modern ones, extra CCTV, and help for youngsters to get on the housing ladder.

Help has also been requested for the Leiston Works Railway Project, and to create conference and break-out areas at Leiston Film Theatre.

EDF is also proposing an AONB fund to support measures to mitigate impacts in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB and Suffolk Heritage Coast, money for marsh harrier habitat improvements, fen meadow improvements, and resilience funds for the RSPB and National Trust to help offset any impacts at Dunwich and Minsmere.

There would also be a community fund to help with quaity of life projects, and a tourism fund to develop or support a tourism strategy/action plan, support local projects and help with marketing and promotion of activities on the Suffolk coast and specific attractions.

EDF said no cost figures were available yet until the heads of terms for Sizewell C are agreed but the aim would be to deliver mitigation for impacts and a much-needed boost to the local economy following the pandemic.

A spokeswoman said: “EDF is committed to minimising the impact of developing Sizewell C while we maximise the benefits for the area through jobs, skills, training and business contracts for local people.”

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