Revealed: The final proposals for Sizewell C on the Suffolk coast
PUBLISHED: 17:34 25 June 2020 | UPDATED: 18:54 25 June 2020
The final proposals for Sizewell C on the Suffolk coast have been revealed by energy giant EDF – and these are the key points.
After the Planning Inspectorate said yesterday the plans were suitable to go to the next stage of the process, EDF released a summary of the final plan.
This is despite local action groups and Suffolk County Council saying they have serious concerns about the project.
Humphrey Cadoux Hudson, Sizewell C Managing Director, announced a series of pledges to the local community.
These include investing in local education, employment and skills, transporting 40% of construction materials by rail and sea, ‘respecting’ the Suffolk heritage coast and minimising impact on RSPB Minsmere, National Trust Dunwich Heath and Leiston Abbey, and setting up a Tourism Fund. There would also be a Worker Code of Conduct enforced.
He said: “This is an important moment for the project and the county. It remains our priority to maximise the benefits of Sizewell C for the East Suffolk area whilst minimising the potential disruption.”
A newsletter summarising the plan will be sent to local people in the coming days.
Here is a summary of main proposals it will outline:
Sizewell C will take 9-12 years to build, requiring a workforce of around 7,900 on the main site at the peak of construction. EDF is aiming to begin construction in 2022 meaning peak years will be around 2027-28.
EDF says that jobs needed at Sizewell C will depend on the different phases of construction. The project requires and will create a variety of skilled careers in engineering, logistics, management and support services throughout the decade of construction.
After construction 900 highly skilled staff will operate Sizewell C.
EDF aims to have as many local workers as possible, but assessments suggest that around a third will be living at home and commuting.
An accommodation campus of 2,400 beds and self contained on-suite rooms will be built behind the security fence of the main site. A secure caravan site with up to 400 pitches will also be built in the land of Eastlands Industrial Estate in Leiston.
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At least £125 million per year will enter the local economy during construction and £40m per year during the 60 years of operation, according to EDF.
EDF says where land is used for the development, including in the Sizewell Marshes SSSI, they are creating replacement habitats to compensate.
The energy giant add that new habitats for marsh harriers and reptiles have been created, and in 2015 we transformed low-grade agricultural land in Leiston into the Aldhurst Farm Habitat Creation Scheme.
In the first two years of construction, it will operate two trains per day along the East Suffolk line and the Saxmundham to Leiston branch line.
A single-track extension from the branch line into new sidings within land East of Eastlands Industrial Estate (LEEIE) will be built as well as a new rail line to the construction site.
A Beach Landing Facility will be built next to the construction site to allow very heavy or oversized loads to be transported to the main construction site.
The two villages bypass on the A12 at Stratford St Andrew and Farnham would be built in the early years of the project and remain after Sizewell C is built.
EDF also proposes a new permanent road linking the A12 to the Sizewell C main site after concerns were raised about traffic levels on the B1122.
The company says rail and sea links will limit the number of HGV journeys travelling in and out of the site but are also planning a temporary Freight Management Facility at Seven Hills to help to control the flow of HGV traffic.
During peak periods, EDF says 325 HGVs will deliver to the site a day.
Two park and ride facilities will also be built for workers commuting from home. Both will be off the A12, one at Darsham and one near Wickham Market.
Serious concerns have been voiced about Sizewell C’s impact on tourism in east Suffolk. EDF will set up a tourism fund to help persuade holiday makers to visit the Suffolk Coastline.
After consultation with tourism partners in the area, the energy company concluded that most would still visit surrounding towns like Aldeburgh and Southwold.
The newsletter says: “The fund will market and promote the Suffolk coast and the attractions within it. This will help us make sure the whole Suffolk coast is – and is seen to be – open for business.”
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