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Campaign group voices concerns over delay in Sizewell C environmental details

PUBLISHED: 19:00 22 July 2019

TASC members protesting over Sizewell C Picture: TASC

TASC members protesting over Sizewell C Picture: TASC

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Campaigners have expressed "extreme disappointment" at the latest proposals for Sizewell C - and fear they may not be able to comment on its environmental impact before plans are submitted.

An artist's impression of what Sizewell C will look like  Picture: EDF ENERGYAn artist's impression of what Sizewell C will look like Picture: EDF ENERGY

Campaigners have expressed "extreme disappointment" at the latest proposals for Sizewell C - and fear they may not be able to comment on its environmental impact before plans are submitted.

EDF Energy has launched its Stage 4 consultation on the nuclear power station, highlighting a number of changes and putting forward an option for a intergrated transport strategy for the delivery of construction materials.

But Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) has called for the plans for a twin reactor to be scrapped, saying the consultation reveals no new data upon which to judge the potential environmental, social or infrastructure impact.

TASC press officer Chris Wilson said having reviewed the documentation, TASC expressed "extreme disappointment, although not surprise, at the lack of extra detail included".

He said: "Many respondents to the stage 3 consultation asked for more environmental information. Yet, despite EDF promising that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would play a 'key role' in finalising their proposals, we now know that these will not be available until the Development Consent Order (DCO) is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

"Therefore, the environmental impact on people, places, flora and fauna, will not be available for public consultation before EDF submit their DCO. This makes the job of making an accurate assessment of EDF's plans impossible."

Pete Wilkinson, TASC Chairman, said: "Just at a time when letters are being sent to residents potentially affected by the development asking for details of their property which may need to be compulsorily purchased, EDF should at least have the decency to give those people and the rest of us in the county adequate information and details which enable us to determine what price we are being asked to pay for the government's fixation with this totally unnecessary new nuclear build programme."

TASC said it remained committed to stopping EDF's plans to build two EPR nuclear reactors as they will "devastate the rich mosaic of sensitive wildlife habitat" within the Suffolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) at Sizewell.

EDF says Stage 4 is a "focussed consultation" looking at very specific issues and work is still contunuing on a range of studies connected with the project as well as dialogue with stakeholders. The latest developments have followed feedback on previous consultations and ongoing engagement with stakeholders, further technical and environmental assessments, and experiences at Hinkley Point C.

Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director, said people were welcome to comment on any aspect of the project.

The company is this week holding six public exhibitions at which people will be able to see the latest plans and discuss their concerns with experts.

Consultation

The consultation will last 10 weeks - starting today, Thursday, July 18 and running until Friday, September 27.

These will take place at:

● Leiston United Church, High Street, Leiston, July 23, 2pm to 8pm

● Yoxford Village Hall, Old High Road, Yoxford, July 24, 1pm to 6pm

● Wickham Market Village Hall, High Street, Wickham Market, July 25, Noon to 3pm

● Hacheston Village Hall, The Street, Hacheston, July 25, 5pm to 8pm

● Woodbridge Community Hall, Station Road, Woodbridge, July 26, 2pm to 8pm

● Riverside Centre, Great Glemham Road, Stratford St Andrew, July 27, 10am to 4pm

In addition, people can visit the Sizewell C EDF offices in Leiston High Street to give their views, or visit the Sizewell C website

Officials from EDF are also willing to attend town and parish councils to give presentations on the latest developments.

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TASC notes that the documentation still lacks details of the quantities of materials and goods that will be transported to Sizewell, or where they are coming from, making the calculations of the number of HGV movements, carbon footprint and level of disturbance, unavailable to residents or opponents of the scheme.

The few hundred permanent jobs that SZC would create, is nothing compared to the thousands that could be created by the same investment into sustainable businesses such as increasing the energy efficiency of our housing or developing energy storage solutions.

The documents give no details of the impact on town water supplies or the amount of fresh water available to farmers, other businesses and wildlife habitats, although estimates suggest that, once operational, SZC will use up to two million litres of drinking water per day. The amount that would be used during the 9/12 year construction period, in one of the driest regions of the country, should also be a matter of grave public concern.

The full impact on the marine environment has not been disclosed. Conservation groups reviewing EDF's plans for the twin EPR reactors at Hinkley C say that the sea water intake pipes could kill up to 250,000 fish per day devastating the marine ecosystem. This is likely to be replicated at Sizewell.

TASC remain committed to stopping EDF's plans to build two EPR nuclear reactors as they will devastate the rich mosaic of sensitive wildlife habitat within the Suffolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) at Sizewell. TASC agrees with the RSPB who recently commented "The RSPB does not believe that Sizewell is a suitable position for a new nuclear power station". Even Philip Ridley, Head of Planning at East Suffolk Council was recently quoted as saying "If you were looking for a place to build a nuclear power plant you could not have chosen a more environmentally sensitive spot". The RSPB, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, National Trust, AONB, Suffolk Preservation Society and the Environment Agency are among many who registered great concerns in their responses at the stage 3 consultations. There is nothing at this later stage that would appear to alleviate their fears.

On top of all the environmental worries and the negative impact on residents and businesses in Suffolk, EDF have had the gall to announce that they want all electricity bill payers to pay an annual levy to subsidise the construction of this white elephant.

Jim Crawford, EDF's Project Development Director at Sizewell, recently said about the SZC project "This is a process of continual negotiation and talking". EDF certainly do a lot of talking, a lot of it greenwashing, but, from the evidence of this most recent consultation, TASC say EDF is just not listening.

TASC calls on all residents in Suffolk, indeed in the whole of the UK, to take part in the 4th EDF consultation and let them and your councillors know what you think of their plans.

Please keep up to date with TASC by following us at www.tasizewellc.org.uk or on twitter @SayNo2SizewellC and email us with any queries to info@tasizewellc.org.uk

Christopher Wilson, Press Officer

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