Changes to Sizewell C proposals submitted to national planning body
- Credit: EDF Energy
New plans which would take hundreds of lorries a week off Suffolk's roads during the construction of the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station have been formally submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.
The proposals were part of a 30-day public consultation at the end of the autumn outlining how the development would see a larger focus on sea and rail for delivery of materials if the £20billion twin reactor gets the go-ahead.
EDF Energy says the changes to the plans would cut by 20% the amount travelling by road and would mean 150 less HGVs on local roads on the busiest day over the peak construction period.
It would mean reducing HGV numbers on an average typical day at the peak of construction to 250 (500 two-way movements) and 350 HGVs (700 two-way movements) on the busiest day.
The company's consultation also proposed plans to build a beach landing facility for the delivery of large loads by sea and a second temporary landing facility, while talks are ongoing with Network Rail to see how many extra trains could run.
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The changes to the plans - which follow feedback from Suffolk County Council, East Suffolk Council, MPs and other stakeholders - also include plans to reduce use of AONB land on the Sizewell estate and using less land designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and the creation of an independent Environment Trust.
There will also be an extra 500 apprenticeships created with other measures including the launch of Young Sizewell C to provide links through education into training and jobs with Sizewell C and other regional companies.
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Carly Vince, Sizewell C chief planner, said: “We continue to listen to local communities and other stakeholders and are grateful for their feedback on these changes which will keep more lorries off Suffolk’s roads.”
Opponents though are still deeply unhappy at the plans.
Charles Macdowell, chair of the B1122 Action Group said: "While any reduction in HGV numbers has to be a move in the right direction, the overall pressure that EDF's trucks will exert on Suffolk's roads - including the A12 - is still unacceptable.
"Local people reject the huge increase in noise and pollution as well as the safety issues it brings.
"We will be looking closely at the details including the use of the existing unimproved village roads during the first few years of construction, and the effect of noisy night trains on Saxmundham and Leiston."
Paul Collins, chair of Stop Sizewell C, said: "We must now see if the Planning Inspectorate thinks these proposals are good enough to be accepted for examination, which of the 'options' EDF has decided to pursue and whether the vague 'potential' of the ideas has become more certain.
"There are serious questions about all of these, given the lack of supporting information in the consultation. With such a short time between the end of the consultation and today's submission, we also have little confidence that adequate impact assessments have been carried out."
The Planning Inspectorate will now consider the proposed changes in advance of the examination later this year.