Will Suffolk County Council support or oppose Sizewell C?
PUBLISHED: 16:30 10 July 2020
Councillors in Suffolk say they still need to be convinced about building a new nuclear facility at Sizewell – but said it was too early to formally oppose the project.
A motion was presented to Suffolk County Council’s full council meeting on Thursday afternoon calling for the council to oppose the plans by EDF Energy to develop Sizewell C, and set up a cross-party task group to consider whether the authority should support the principle of nuclear energy at all.
David Wood from the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group, who put forward the motion, said the development will do irreversible harm to the landscape.
“We should be extremely proud of what we have here in Suffolk – our natural coast, the jewel in our crown and renowned the world over for its landscape, wildlife, flora and fauna, and should be doing all we can to protect it, not destroy it,” he said.
Mr Wood said the plans had “utter disregard for the environment” and added: “This is a development which will have significant harm for the area from which we will never recover”.
But despite a series of concerns raised about the scheme, which councillors said still needed to be addressed, most said they could not back the motion because more work was needed to see if those issues could be addressed.
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The 56,000-page development order has only recently been published, meaning people have not had time to thoroughly read it.
The motion was voted down by 50 votes to 12, with four councillors abstaining.
Richard Rout, Conservative cabinet member for the environment said: “This council has taken a consistent, measured, evidence-based approach which has always sought to balance the potential benefits of Sizewell C to the potential disbenefits before reaching a conclusion.
“This is a conclusion we can only reach when we have had the opportunity to consider in detail the 56,000 pages of the development consent order.”
It is understood the matter is to be considered further at September’s cabinet meeting.
Among the concerns raised by the proposals are the impact on the wildlife and scenic landscape, potential hits to the tourism industry, and the ability of the roads to cope with additional traffic among others.
However, councillors said it needed to be balanced with the economic benefits, the power output it will generate and potential job creation.
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