Wait goes on for Sizewell C details as second stage of consultation still delayed
EDF Energy will not now be carrying out its next round of consultation on the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station until after the General Election.
It will mean a two-and-a-half year gap between the initial consultation on the project and the second stage, which is expected to reveal much firmer details of issues such as road improvements, worker accommodation and park-and-ride sites.
There has been frustration at the delay and concern over the worry and uncertainty it is causing many people living in the area, but it has given campaigners more time to press their concerns and build up their cases on various issues.
Tom McGarry, EDF Energy’s head of communications for Sizewell C, said there would be no announcement on the dates of the stage two consultation until after the financial investment decision is announced for Hinkley Point C.
This had been expected at the end of last year.
Mr McGarry said: “We are working hard with the Government to finalise on Hinkley Point C and we are making significant progress in all areas. We are hoping to be able to make an announcement by the end of March.”
The two new reactors in Somerset will cost around £16billion.
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The European Commission has approved the agreements between EDF Group and the UK Government to build the plant following a 12-month investigation.
The second stage of consultation on Sizewell C is expected to last 11 weeks and even if an announcement is made at the end of March or beginning of April, it is unlikely to proceed immediately, putting it beyond the May 7 election date.
This year there will be district, town and parish elections on the same day in Suffolk Coastal, which will mean councillors cannot take part in any discussions on the project until after the poll.
In the meantime, Suffolk Coastal and Suffolk County Council, within the Joint Local Authority Group, have given an assurance that officers and councillors are still working hard to research and understand the issues involved in the massive project and to be as prepared as possible for when the consultation eventually starts.
EDF Energy will also carry out a third stage of consultation before the application is submitted to Government, which will confirm their final plans and also the technical details of the reactors.