The UK Planning Inspectorate on 24 June accepted for examination the planning application for the Sizewell C nuclear power plant.
The decision means the Inspectorate is satisfied that the eight years of public consultation by the project was conducted properly and that full examination of the proposals can now take place, EDF said.
If approved, Sizewell C will deliver power to 6 million homes. “It will provide a vital boost to jobs, skills, education and training for decades to come while helping to tackle the climate crisis,” EDF noted.
A summary of the proposals will be made available on the Sizewell C website, and a newsletter will be sent to local people outlining “all the ways we will help the public take part in the planning process”. A copy of the full planning application and supporting documents are available on the Planning Inspectorate website.
“The timing is right to start the process for the public to be able to view the planning application with new guidelines in place for social distancing. We will ensure they have every opportunity to read the planning application for this project which will leave a positive legacy for years to come,” EDF said.
EDF outlines commitment to local community
The following day, the Sizewell C media team issued a list of pledges to the community in East Suffolk and published a summary of the proposals.
Humphrey Cadoux Hudson, Sizewell C managing director, said: “This is an important moment for the project and the county. Many opportunities lie ahead if the project continues to move forward; access to skilled long term jobs, a boost to the education system and a pathway to economic recovery. We are committed to delivering these opportunities whilst always being sensitive to the communities living near the construction site and the local environment. It remains our priority to maximise the benefits of Sizewell C for the East Suffolk area whilst minimising the potential disruption.”
Sizewell C pledged to:
- Minimise disruption to local communities during the construction of Sizewell C
- Invest in local employment, education and skills. This includes an aim to enable 1000 apprenticeships;
- Support the growth of the local economy, including measures to support local firms in gaining work on the project
- Transport 40% of construction materials by rail and sea, to reduce the number of heavy vehicles on local roads
- Respect the Suffolk heritage coast and minimise impact on environmentally important sites
- Return the temporary construction area to a standard benefiting the area of national beauty
- Remove the accommodation campus and caravan site, the park and ride sites, the rail extension of the Saxmundham to Leiston branch line and the freight management facility following construction and restore the land
- Support the Suffolk coast tourism sector to offset impacts from construction through the provision of a Tourism Fund
- Provide a comprehensive 24/7 on-site occupational health service for workers, a residual healthcare contribution and a Public Services Contingency Fund
- Require all workers to sign a Worker Code of Conduct and enforce it – “as we have done successfully at Hinkley Point C”
- Enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of local communities through the provision of a Community Fund.
Objections to Sizewell C
However, the project has faced strong local opposition. Pete Wilkinson, chairman of Together Against Sizewell C (TASC), said: “TASC recognises that the acceptance of the Sizewell C planning application marks the beginning of a battle for the soul and integrity of East Suffolk."
“The long-term jobs offered will be few compared to what could be generated by a renewables programme – nuclear is notoriously capital- not labour-intensive. “The often quoted 25,000 jobs actually disappear on closer inspection to 25,000 short-term, construction-related job ‘roles’,” he added.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (HCLG) has accepted EDF’s development consent order application for examination despite a High Court challenge currently making its way through the courts to stop the project.
A local resident was granted permission to bring his challenge before the court earlier in June. The challenge relates to the proposed works associated with Sizewell C, which opponents claim will ruin a 30ha area of ‘outstanding natural beauty’.
Photo: The proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant (Credit: EDF Energy)