Initial feedback suggests local community representatives are not yet convinced by EDF Energy’s Stage 4 proposals
Areas that were discussed included pylons, a lack of detailed information and feedback, traffic impacts, economic legacy and the impact on the environment.
Community leaders from across east Suffolk came together today (26 July) to discuss views, raise questions and offer their initial observations on EDF Energy’s Sizewell C Stage 4 Pre-Application consultation with members of Sizewell C Joint Local Authorities Group (JLAG).
A range of EDF Energy’s consultation proposals were raised as part of a question and answer session and round table discussions. 86 representatives from 28 town and parish councils attended the event held at Ufford Park Hotel.
The main sentiment coming from the assembled group of knowledgeable local representatives was that whilst they appreciated the fact EDF Energy are undertaking a Stage 4 consultation, there are still a number of issues that have not been addressed, particularly surrounding transport, the affect on communities and the natural environment. The areas that were highlighted through round table discussions were as follows:
- Pylons – Significant concerns remain about the number of pylons and their locations required for Sizewell C. The revised proposal from EDF Energy does not yet mitigate the impact on the environment
- Lack of detailed information – There remains concern that EDF Energy has still not provided enough detail behind many of their mitigations leaving more questions than answers
- Lack of feedback – There was a feeling that EDF Energy has not given sufficient feedback or answered the concerns raised by those who took part in the Stage 3 process
- Traffic impacts – Some believe there is still a lack of transparency on traffic projections and there are concerns over the use of local roads and the current suitability of the A12 to accommodate EDF Energy’s proposed transport options
- Economic Legacy – Will the area be left better or worse off once the station is built and in operation? There is concern that EDF Energy’s plans do not go far enough to give real long-lasting positive socio-economic positive impact
- Impact on natural environment and coastal processes – There are concerns over flood risks, the vulnerability of the Suffolk coastline and the impact on wildlife habitats, including RSPB Minsmere.
Suffolk County Councillor Richard Smith, Chairman of Sizewell C Joint Local Authorities Group (JLAG) said:
“I was very pleased to see so many local community leaders come today and share their views and thoughts with us. These local leaders are all very well informed and knowledgeable surrounding EDF Energy’s proposals having been through 3 stages of consultation so far. As expected, there was a lot of strong feeling within the room and it was important for us to hear the concerns of the community as we consider a joint response to the Stage 4 consultation from Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council.
“Only in February this year, we held a similar event to discuss EDF Energy’s Stage 3 proposals. Our joint response at that point was very robust and reflected the concerns of the communities our Councils serve where we weren’t convinced that the advantages of such a development would outweigh the disadvantages on the Suffolk coast. It is the duty of our Councils to ensure, if Sizewell C indeed goes ahead, that it would be constructed with the least possible negative impact on our communities whilst maximising opportunities from the development.”
East Suffolk Councillor Craig Rivett, Vice Chair of Sizewell C Joint Local Authorities Group (JLAG) said:
“Events like today are incredibly important because it gives us the opportunity to come together and share views and local knowledge with others who are equally passionate about where they live and the potential wider impacts on Suffolk any of such development.
“There are still clearly concerns over a number of local issues that affect communities through east Suffolk. One particular action Richard and I are taking away from today is to write again to the Government to ensure they are aware of the cumulative impact of such scalable projects in Suffolk as our county becomes ever-more important to the future energy demands for the UK.
“I would ask everyone who wants to provide their feedback in relation to any aspect of EDF Energy’s Stage 4 proposal to review their documentation fully and write to EDF Energy before the consultation closes on 27 September 2019.”