Campaigners say Sizewell C should be 'dead in the water' after power plant rejection

How Sizewell C with its twin reactors could look alongside plants A and B on Suffolk's coast

How Sizewell C with its twin reactors could look alongside plants A and B on Suffolk's coast - Credit: EDF Energy

Campaigners fighting plans for a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast say the project should be "dead in the water" after a similar scheme was rejected on environmental grounds.

They say the proposed Sizewell C site has far more important wildlife and environment than Wylfa, which has been described as "the best site available globally" for a new power plant.

But despite experts expecting it to get the go-ahead, the Planning Inspectorate has recommended that the Wylfa Newydd project site regarded as "the best" be rejected by the Government.

The current plans were unlikely to proceed anyway after Hitachi withdrew from the £20billion project, leading Horizon Nuclear Power to withdraw the application.

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: "If the Planning Inspectorate recommended refusing the Wylfa project on the grounds of impacts on terrestrial ecology, what hope for Sizewell C?

"Wholly within the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and impacting Sizewell Marshes SSSI and internationally famous RSPB Minsmere, this project should be dead in the water.

"Our grave concern is that the Secretary of State could approve a project they would otherwise refuse because it is seen as their only remaining option."

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She said the group felt instead of pushing for one more gigawatt-project, ministers should consider Hinkley Point C as both the first and the last new-build."

Wylfa was described by Baroness Bloomfield in the House of Lords as 'the best site available globally', yet the Planning Inspectorate concluded that the matters weighing against Horizon's nuclear project did not outweigh the matters in favour.

Its 900-page report highlighted the impact in terrestrial ecology - including potential impacts on SSSIs, a colony of terns, the loss of nationally important grassland, and Habitat Regulations Assessment. 

Sizewell A and Sizewell B nuclear power plants

Sizewell A and Sizewell B nuclear power plants - EDF hopes to have Sizewell C sitting alongside - Credit: Su Anderson

A spokeswoman for EDF Energy said: "Sizewell A and Sizewell B have coexisted peacefully within the AONB for decades where wildlife around the stations has been nurtured and the environment looked after."

As part of its plans for Sizewell C, EDF intends to establish an independent Environmental Trust to manage the ongoing re-wilding and biodiversity of the growing Sizewell estate, expanding and connecting further parcels of land identified for re-wilding and habitat creation.

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