A planning decision over the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant in Anglesey has been deferred, the UK Government has confirmed.
The Wylfa Newydd project, which envisaged the construction of two UK advanced boiling water reactors (ABWRs), was suspended in January 2019 after Hitachi, failed to reach a funding deal with the UK government. However, the government had been expected to grant a Development Consent Order to construct the £12 billion power station on 31 March.
A statement by Anglesey Council's Planning Inspectorate on 1 April, said: “The deadline for the decision on the proposed Wylfa Newydd (Nuclear Generating Station) Order application was 23 October 2019 but that deadline was reset to 31 March 2020 to allow further information in respect of environmental effects and other outstanding issues to be provided and considered."
It added: "The Secretary of State (Alok Sharma) has decided to re-set the statutory deadline for this application to 30 September 2020. As Parliament is not sitting, a statement confirming the new deadline for a decision will be made to the House of Commons and House of Lords in accordance with section 107(7) of the Planning Act 2008 as soon as possible after Parliament resumes.”
A spokesman for Hitachi subsidiary Horizon Nuclear Power expressed disappointment but that the delay was “not unexpected given the current national circumstances”.
He added, “We are pleased to note that no further information has been requested but stand ready to assist in any way needed to ensure that a decision can be reached on this crucial project.”
EDF Energy announced last month that it was delaying submission of its planning application for Sizewell C by a “few weeks” due to the coronavirus crisis. Construction work at Hinkley Point C has also been scaled back.
Photo: CGI showing two ABWRs at Wylfa Newydd (Credit: Horizon Nuclear Power)