Council moves forward with its representations for Sizewell C following extraordinary meeting

A CGI of what the Sizewell C nuclear power station will look like Picture: EDF Energy

A CGI of what the Sizewell C nuclear power station will look like Picture: EDF Energy - Credit: Archant

Concerns over transport plans, the environment and coastal defences for Sizewell C remained some of the most pressing for East Suffolk Council during a meeting on Thursday.

The council held an “extraordinary meeting” to solely discuss the project as it looked to formulate its representation to the Planning Inspectorate.

At the end of June, the Planning Inspectorate cleared EDF Energy’s proposals to move to the next stage.

The council has until the end of the month to put in its representations.

Among the mitigation methods considered by the council’s draft representations were the provision of off-site sports facilities at Leiston Sports and Leisure Centre and the relocation of facilities in relation to Sizewell B.

It also looked at mitigations and compensation funds in relation to tourism, housing, skills and education, transport, education provision, community safety, emergency services and health.

However, councillors raised concerns about areas in which they required further information, such as the full extent of coastal defence work planned to protect the station.

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Councillors also expressed concerns that transport issues had not been fully explored.

Wickham Market representative Carol Poulter said it was “very disappointing” more rail improvements were not deemed deliverable in the time permitted for construction.

Carlford and Fynn Valley ward councillor Tony Fryatt also expressed concern at the abandonment of the four villages bypass scheme.

However, cabinet member for transport, Norman Brooks, said that it was “appreciated that EDF have taken on some of our considerations” in terms of a two-village bypass.

He called on EDF to work with all parties to ensure mitigation was delivered on time and in a coordinated fashion.

Many councillors spoke of the reaction to the plans that they had received from members of the public.

Jocelyn Bond, Aldeburgh and Leiston ward councillor said that she had received 450 letters on the subject, and not one of them had been in support of the proposals.

However, Tony Cooper, who also represents the same ward, said that there had been benefits to the local community from the previous Sizewell A and B projects.

Though a number of issues were discussed in regards to the environment, councillors voted against an amendment to the recommendations that would have seen the council recommend that the government recognise that the project would not benefit East Suffolk nor the country.

The council eventually voted in favour of the recommendation before them which called for the draft representation to be endorsed as a work in progress and that the representation be reported for consideration by the cabinet later this month.

A spokesman for EDF said: “We are committed to continue to work with East Suffolk Council to maximise the opportunities for the local economy and skills, both now and for future generations, and to limit the impacts of construction on local people and the local environment.

“We know how our workers travel to site and how we move our freight is important to local people and this is something we continue to focus on.

“Sizewell C offers the region years of high skilled well-paid jobs and a boost in education, skills and training for years to come and we want to make the most of this for local people.”

The cabinet will now meet on September 21 to consider and finalise the representation before it is submitted at the end of the month.

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