EDF chief says survey results show 'silent majority' want Sizewell C

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

A new survey has been carried out into views on Sizewell C - Credit: EDF Energy

A new survey has been carried out into the attitudes of people in east Suffolk towards the building of a new nuclear power station on the coast. 

The survey was carried out by a company called ICM Unlimited on behalf of EDF, which is looking to build the Sizewell C station. 

ICM interviewed a representative sample of 500 adults in east Suffolk over the phone between November 5 and November 19.

But opponents of the power station project dismissed the research as "meaningless", saying a sample of 500 people - in an area with a population of 247,000 - was "hardly representative". 

All those that took part in the survey live in the area with data having been weighted to the population profile of the East Suffolk Council adult population. 

One of the questions asked to participants was to what extent would they support or oppose the plans to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell C.

Of those that took part 34% strongly supported the plans, 23% tended to support the project, 18% strongly opposed the plans while 14% didn't support or oppose them. A further 4% didn't know. 

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Respondents were also asked what their main concerns were about the building of the power station; 27 % said it was the impact on the environment and wildlife. A further 22% were concerned about the impact on local traffic.  

Of the benefits that the power station could bring 72% believed that jobs and training was the main benefit on offer. 

Tom McGarry, Sizewell C’s head of stakeholder engagement said: "The Government’s decision to begin negotiations about Sizewell C is great news for the UK’s climate ambitions and for the communities of East Suffolk.

"The ICM poll shows the silent majority in this area want the project to get built and that there is a clear recognition of the jobs and training opportunities it will bring.

"The poll also shows some people still have concerns about our plans and we are continuing to listen to them as we have done for more than eight years.

"We are determined to make sure Sizewell C delivers as many benefits as possible to East Suffolk.”

A spokesman for campaign group Together Against Sizewell C said the poll was "meaningless" as it had been commissioned by EDF. 

"Such a small sample of 500 people is hardly representative of the people of Suffolk when compared to the 19,000+ who recently signed the joint TASC and Stop Sizewell C petition, 2,492 with an IP postcode and the nearly 60,000 who have supported RSPB’s Love Minsmere campaign to oppose Sizewell C," said the spokesman. 

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