Campaigners frustrated over late changes to Sizewell C plans
PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:23 17 October 2020
Campaigners have voiced their frustration at major changes to the Sizewell C plans which have been submitted just days after more than 1,200 respondents gave their views on the project.
EDF Energy has submitted 14 changes to the plans for the £20billion twin reactor nuclear power station – and a 30-day public consultation is 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 was only a few days ago that the opportunity to comment on the project closed and the Planning Inspectorate is still verifying each of the 1,287 submissions from people, businesses, councils and agencies.
Campaign groups say they are horrified that people are likely now to be asked all over again to submit comments on EDF’s revised proposals.
Stop Sizewell C said it could not believe EDF had only just realised after years of consultation that Suffolk people didn’t want a road-led transport strategy for delivery of construction materials that would put 1,000 HGVs on the roads.
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The group said: “1,200 people and 63 parishes and towns went to considerable effort to submit representations on EDF’s existing proposals, so it’s frustrating that they may soon have to respond all over again, especially when the Scottish Power Renewables examination is running.
“Having spent many weeks already reading EDF’s application, of course we will read these new proposals with interest. However, it’s not credible that the changes have only emerged in the short time since councils, MPs and the public responded, so why couldn’t they have come up with them – and shared them – before?”
The B1122 Action Group on Sizewell, which has been lobbying on EDF’s transport plans ever since Sizewell C was first suggested, said: “Their rethink should include a serious review of their badly sited relief road route. This route has already been rejected by the county council. as it will be hugely damaging to the local area yet will be of no use once the station was completed.”
The Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group said: “EDF hasn’t even shared a complete coastal defence plan – so the news that they propose to change the design of the Beach Landing Facility, which could compromise that non-existent design of the coastal defences, is deeply concerning.”
EDF said the proposed changes are a response to feedback from Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council as well as residents, MPs and other stakeholders.
They include reducing 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.
Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, Sizewell C managing director, said: “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.”
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