'Critical issues' with Sizewell C plans to be discussed at public hearings
"Critical issues" with plans for a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast - including the impact building work would have on residents - are to be discussed at public hearings.
The Planning Inspectorate is holding a series of Issue Specific Hearings on EDF Energy's bid to build Sizewell C as part of its formal examination of proposals for a new twin-reactor.
Hearings have been taking place this week, with another four days of hearings scheduled to take place at Snape Maltings in mid-September.
The first day on Tuesday, September 14 will look at flood risk and water supply issues, while the following day will examine the "potential adverse effects on human health and living conditions of local residents during construction".
The hearings on Thursday, September 16 will look at landscape and heritage issues, including "potential adverse effects on heritage assets forming part of the Heveningham Hall estate and National Trust Coastguard Cottages".
The code of practice for the construction of the site will be assessed on Friday, September 17.
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A spokesman for EDF Energy said: "We are pleased the hearings are going ahead, as they will allow the examining authority to continue to explore all our proposals and enable all interested parties to participate."
But Paul Collins, chairman of the Stop Sizewell C campaign group, said: "We are well over two-thirds of the way through the Sizewell C examination, which has exposed many serious failings in EDF's application.
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"There are still a number of critical issues to be heard.
"Whether or not the Planning Inspectorate will agree with our MP's recommendation that the examination is extended remains to be seen, although we note EDF's latest financial report is now hinting that a secretary of state decision is due 'mid-2022' as opposed to April 2022, which suggests that they at least are expecting this."
Once the examination process is concluded, an inspector will make a recommendation to government as to whether the nuclear plant should go ahead or not.
Sizewell C had delayed the original submission of the planning application by two months and extended the period of public registration due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This had followed eight years of public consultation to form the proposals for the new power station.
The meetings will be live-streamed and also available to watch afterwards.