Local communities share reactions to Sizewell C stage 3 consultation
Community leaders from across east Suffolk came together on Tuesday 22 January 2019.
They discussed views, raised questions and offered initial observations on EDF Energy’s Sizewell C Stage 3 Pre-Application consultation with members of Sizewell C Joint Local Authorities Group (JLAG).
Over 100 attendees, representing around 30 town and parish councils were represented at the busy event, attracting an energetic atmosphere with a constant buzz of discussion and examination. Many aspects of EDF Energy’s consultation proposals were raised during question and answer sessions and round table discussions.
The main message that came across loud and clear from the meeting was that EDF Energy has taken on the feedback given by local communities as part of their Stage 2 consultation and has provided much more detail at Stage 3 in regards to their mitigations and proposals.
There are some aspects that still lack clarity, and this level of detail is needed to ensure local communities have all the information required to respond in a full and considered way to their proposals. Elements of mitigation where further information would be beneficial primarily focus transport and accommodation.
There is also a clear sentiment that EDF Energy need to do more to try and make a marine-led strategy work as a preferred option.
Other key areas raised by the community during discussions were:
- Pylons – Concerns about increasing number required and how / where they will be sited
- Design of station – Appearance of the buildings are not in keeping with surrounding natural environment, do not necessarily complement appearance of existing stations and there is concern that more buildings are proposed than are actually required
- Scale of construction – Concerns that EDF Energy has dropped the marine-led transport option for getting construction materials to site far too eagerly without thorough consideration and that the rail-led option may not be their next preference
- Economy – It is still not clear how much benefit will come to local population as a result of such upheaval, with so much disruption. Skilled jobs on site may well be at the cost of skilled labour currently at other local businesses which will struggle to recruit if they lose their workforce
- Transport – There remains strong support for SEGway (4 Village Bypass), including from both councils. Concerns continue in regards to the impact on existing road infrastructure which is close to capacity in many places
- Pressure on local services – There is a strong feeling that local health, police and support services may come close to breaking point with so many coming to area for concentrated period of time. There remain question marks around how EDF Energy will maintain staff presence at proposed accommodation points
- 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
Suffolk Coastal District Councillor Geoff Holdcroft, Chairman of Sizewell C Joint Local Authorities Group (JLAG) said:
“Discussions were extremely valuable in learning more about specific concerns and local impacts that our community leaders have in mind and the sorts of things they are getting asked about by their residents. The feedback we received has helped to reinforce the views we are already beginning to form and these will be presented by each local authority through meetings in March before the end of EDF Energy’s consultation. I would like to thank all those that took the time to attend.
“Whilst the construction and operation of this nuclear power station may well bring a massive boost to the economy of east Suffolk, we need to make sure we get it right for our local communities. I would encourage everyone to make sure they get actively involved in this consultation. Local people need to make sure they have their say, as this project will affect their lives for years to come.
“As a Joint Local Authority Group, we are working hard for Suffolk people to put forward local views on how the impact of a new power station must be mitigated should the development go ahead. both local authorities are doing his by submitting our views as part of this consultation period, however it is also very important that as many people as possible provide their views directly to EDF Energy. I urge all local communities to submit their comments ahead of the Friday 29 March 2019 deadline.”
Suffolk County Councillor Richard Smith, Vice Chair of Sizewell C Joint Local Authorities Group (JLAG) said:
“I am extremely grateful for everybody’s participation at this event and welcome the views expressed on behalf of communities across east Suffolk. Both local authorities are very much in listening mode and we are committed to reflecting the local views we hear when it comes to the time for us to put our recommendations for feedback forward to our respective cabinet meetings in March, as part of EDF Energy’s consultation.
“In order to help us form our final view on this proposal, we are clear that we must see how the advantages of building a new power station like this at Sizewell outweigh the disadvantages. At present we are not convinced.
“I would ask everyone thinking of taking part in this consultation to not only consider their views in regards to what EDF Energy is consulting on in this document, but also to think about local impacts and mitigations that you believe EDF Energy should consider at this point. This may include alternative accommodation plans or the management of pylons.”
You can also view:
- the joint response previously submitted to EDF Energy at Stage 2
- EDF Energy’s Stage 3 consultation materials