Suffolk should get on a “war footing” with 12 point plan for Sizewell C

Suffolk should ‘get on war-footing’ with 12-point Brexit-style plan for Sizewell C

18:29 31 January 2017

Protest group members and Suffolk county councillors  pictured  outside Endeavour House before Suffolk County Council's extraordinary cabinet meeting

Protest group members and Suffolk county councillors pictured outside Endeavour House before Suffolk County Council’s extraordinary cabinet meeting

Suffolk has been called on to create a 12-point plan for Sizewell C – echoing Prime Minister Theresa May’s vision for Brexit.

Protest group members and Suffolk county councillors, pictured  outside Endeavour House before Suffolk County Council's extraordinary cabinet meeting.Protest group members and Suffolk county councillors, pictured outside Endeavour House before Suffolk County Council’s extraordinary cabinet meeting.

Community leaders today criticised the county’s “passive and supine” involvement in EDF Energy’s nuclear power plant proposals, to date, and pushed for a more “robust” response.

Michael Gower, whose Blything division at Suffolk County Council (SCC) neighbours the development site, urged his colleagues to “get on the war-footing” with EDF.

His calls for a 12-point plan came during SCC’s extraordinary cabinet meeting on its response to stage two of EDF’s consultation.

The 150-page response criticises EDF for failing to provide evidence about its proposals or consider alternatives. It says the council cannot back its plans without further work.

Chief topics of concern remain the five-storey campus to house 2,400 workers near RSPB Minsmere; the B1122 as a main transport route, and the environmental impact of building a nuclear power station in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

While councillors repeatedly stressed their desire to work with EDF over its proposals, which would create hundreds of jobs and bring millions of pounds to Suffolk’s economy, there was agreement that Suffolk needed a better deal. Guy McGregor, chairman of Sizewell C Joint Local Authorities Group, said: “If Suffolk is going to do the right thing by the nation, regarding its energy needs, it is essential that the nation – and especially EDF – do the right thing by Suffolk.”

Mr McGregor added that Suffolk was “frustrated” by the lack of progress from EDF so far.

Richard Smith, whose Leiston division is directly affected by the proposal, was the only cabinet member not to approve the response. He was “extremely distressed” that it did not recommend the “D2” route – a new road from the A12 to Sizewell – as an alternative to the B1122. He criticised the report and said it should be “more demanding.”

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell, B1122 Action Group and Together Against Sizewell C – all asked the council for assurances. Afterwards, Alison Downes, of TEAGS, said she “absolutely endorsed” the 12-point plan and came away “very heartened”. “We’ve heard a lot today that means we can hold SCC to account,” she added.

An EDF spokesman said: “Our Stage 2 public consultation ends on Friday and we are continuing to meet residents and community groups to get their feedback on our proposals.

“We have already engaged with over 3,500 people.

“This is only the second stage of a multi stage consultation, providing enough detail for stakeholders to provide an opinion on the issues and plans presented.

“We look forward to reading all the responses and how they will inform out developing proposals for Sizewell C, an important project for Suffolk.”

 

http://www.eadt.co.uk/business/suffolk_should_get_on_war_footing_with_12_point_brexit_style_plan_for_sizewell_c_1_4871307

ITV: Worries construction of Sizewell C will ruin beautiful Suffolk countryside

Worries construction of Sizewell C will ruin beautiful Suffolk countryside

Video report from ITV News Anglia’s Helen Keenan.

There are growing concerns over the impact that building Sizewell C could have on one of the region’s most beautiful areas of countryside.

Next week, both Suffolk County Council and the local district council will present a paper to EDF Energy about the impact of traffic and the design of the plant on the neighbouring landscape.

The authorities say they need much more detail to be reassured about the proposals.

The energy company insists it takes all its environmental responsibilities seriously, as Helen Keenan reports.

http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2017-01-28/worries-construction-of-sizewell-c-will-ruin-beautiful-suffolk-countryside/

EADT: Suffolk Councils to Withhold Backing for Sizewell C

Read online:  http://www.eadt.co.uk/business/suffolk_councils_to_withhold_backing_for_edf_energy_s_sizewell_c_nuclear_power_station_1_4860006

Suffolk councils to withhold backing for EDF Energy’s Sizewell C nuclear power station

06:00 24 January 2017

Community leaders are set to withhold their backing for a £14billion new nuclear power plant on the Suffolk coast – saying EDF Energy needs to do a lot more work to reassure the public.

Senior councillors and officials are voicing “deep concerns” over some aspects of the latest consultation and how the impacts of the massive development will be mitigated.

While they support the principal of a new power station and recognise the benefits for the local economy, they say there is a “lack of information” still – four years since the last consultation – on a range of vital issues, including traffic and transport, the environment, and design of the plant.

They say it is unclear how social and economic benefits will be delivered to communities, and some areas of concern have not been covered at all.

Both Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council have been frustrated by the short period of the Stage 2 consultation, which they say made it challenging for the councils to coordinate their response.

They are urging EDF to allow significantly more time for the Stage 3 consultation, the final stage, given the large amount of material expected to be released at that point.

Suffolk County councillor Guy McGregor, chairman of Sizewell C Joint Local Authorities Group (JLAG) said: “Whilst we understand the need to address the UK’s future power needs and we broadly support the principal of a new nuclear power station being built in our community in Suffolk, we are not able to support the specific proposals put forward at this time.

“We believe that the impacts of the development planned in its current guise are as yet, not fully mitigated or evidenced.

“There is much more work for EDF Energy to do to convince us that their plans are up to the expectation we place upon them on behalf of the people of Suffolk. For a number of reasons outlined in our report, we are not yet fully convinced that the benefits of EDF’s proposals outweigh the impacts on the community.”

The authorities also want to see details of community benefits.

At Hinkley Point C, EDF is spending £92million on compensation and mitigation – just 0.6% of the total cost of the project – but as yet the benefits from Sizewell C have not been costed.

The council says: “Sizewell C is, in comparison with Hinkley Point, a much more complex site with more demanding mitigation requirements for its impacts on the AONB.”

Mr McGregor said: “Suffolk wants to do right by the country in respect of this project, but the country has to do right by Suffolk. When you consider the huge cost of the power station we are asking for very little.”

The councils are keen to collaborate with EDF to help them develop their proposals.

Suffolk Coastal councillor Geoff Holdcroft, vice chairman of JLAG, said the district council had particular reservations over a number of aspects and wanted absolute clarity from EDF Energy before it was prepared to offer support.

He said: “We do recognise the positive social and economic benefits that may come to local communities in East Suffolk but we need to know more about how these benefits will be achieved and this can only happen if we work with EDF Energy and Government to make sure our voice is heard. We want EDF Energy to put more effort into addressing the concerns that have come directly from our communities and from our local authorities.

“This massive project can be good for Suffolk, but we need much greater detail and evidence from EDF Energy before we are able to offer firm support.”

EDF has said that it wants to hear all views on its proposals and will take these into account as it prepares for Stage 3 consultation. The current consultation ends on February 3.

EDF Energy’s latest Sizewell C consultation comes in for hard-hitting criticism from the two councils over failings in the way it addresses the impact the gigantic project would have on Suffolk’s nationally-acclaimed coast and heaths landscape and the area’s sensitive ecology, writes environment correspondent John Grant.

Serious concerns are raised by Suffolk County and Suffolk Coastal District councils over the effects the huge scheme would have on the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the economically important tourism that the designated beauty attracts and the area’s internationally acknowledged natural habitats and rare and protected wildlife.

The councils describe the Stage 2 Consultation document as “disappointing in that it fails to recognise or truly acknowledge the environmental challenge that development at this site faces, nor the likelihood of residual impacts in a number of areas”.

They say: “Some environmental issues are hardly covered at all, for example – some ecological surveys appear to have been overlooked. There needs to be further significant work to seek to survey, understand, quantify and qualify these impacts.”

They were “not satisfied” that the consultation “adequately recognises the status of, or the likely impacts of the proposal on, this nationally designated landscape.”

They remained “deeply concerned about design of the main reactor site, given that Sizewell C will be sited in a landscape of national and international importance and sensitivity, given its location within an AONB and on a designated Heritage Coast.”

Sizewell C’s design “should be an environmental exemplar” and improvement was expected. Where this was not possible there a “compensation package due to the lasting impact on and damage to the AONB” was expected.

Among a wide range of other environmental concerns, the councils say the area of the Sizewell Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) expected to be permanently lost had increased from 4.6 hectares in Stage 1 to 5.55ha, and some habitat now proposed to be lost was “much harder to replace” elsewhere.

Campaigners have voiced “huge disappointment” that the county and district councils are not pressing for a new road to directly link the A12 and Sizewell.

Traffic along the B1122 is forecast to rise by 542% during the peak construction period – and residents in Yoxford, Theberton and Middleton are worried at the congestion, pollution and danger this will cause.

County councillors Michael Gower and Richard Smith are both concerned that a suggested link road, called the D2, has not been put forward by the councils.

Mr Smith said: “This road has been costed at £40m – it’s not a showstopper. It would be a quicker and safer route to and from the site and would provide a lasting legacy for this part of east Suffolk.”

Mr Gower said: “The cost is a tiny percentage of the £14bn it will cost to build this power station, and it will provide a much better route to and from the growing town of Leiston and be a positive legacy.”

The councils’ joint response will criticise suggested improvements, including a roundabout or traffic lights at the Yoxford A12 junction, because not enough evidence has been provided to show it would be a solution.

JLAG chairman Guy McGregor said it was up to EDF to bring forward options.

Meanwhile, providing a bypass for two villages – Farnham and Stratford St Andrew – should be the “absolute bare minimum” that EDF should provide, according to the councils.

They are hoping the company will give more to the Suffolk Energy Gateway project and say road improvements, including a Four Village Bypass to include Little Glemham and Marlesford, should be ready ahead of the development.

However, the commitment to bypass two communities should give the councils leverage to persuade Government to add funds.

EADT: Hundreds attending Theberton Sizewell C meeting show people feel ‘profoundly let down’ by EDF Energy

Read online at http://www.eadt.co.uk/business/hundreds_attending_theberton_sizewell_c_meeting_show_people_feel_profoundly_let_down_by_edf_energy_1_4841623

Hundreds attending Theberton Sizewell C meeting show people feel ‘profoundly let down’ by EDF Energy

12:23 09 January 2017, Andrew Hirst

Public meeting on Sizewell C at St Peter's Church in Theberton

Public meeting on Sizewell C at St Peter’s Church in Theberton

Campaigners calling for a better deal from Suffolk’s new nuclear power station claim the strong turn out at a recent public meeting has demonstrated how people feel “let down” by the latest proposals.

More than 200 people are reported to have attended St Peter’s Church in Theberton, near Leiston, on Saturday to discuss EDF Energy’s stage two consultation on Sizewell C.

Organised by Theberton and Eastbridge Parish Council and campaign groups, the meeting also welcomed Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey, county councillors Michael Gower and Richard Smith, and several district councillors.

The meeting comes during EDF’s stage two public consultation exercise, which has faced criticism for its inclusion of plans to build an accommodation campus near Minsmere and to use the B1122 as a transport route, both of which were opposed during stage one.

Su Swallow, co-chairman of the Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS), one of the organisers, said: “The large numbers of people attending and the passionate expressions of concern showed how much local people feel profoundly let down by EDF’s Sizewell C stage two proposals.”

Speakers at the meeting, organised with the B1122 Action Group and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group, highlighted the importance of submitting a response to EDF by the February 3 deadline.

Alison Downes, co-chairman of TEAGS said EDF has “much to do” to address concerns and called for it to be “more transparent”.

EDF said it was holding 23 public exhibitions and claimed the latest proposals have taken in to account feedback from stage one. It has highlighted changes to the development site, a reduction in the number of workers being housed in the campus, and the inclusion of a bypass around Farnham and Stratford St Andrew as examples.

The Sizewell C Project Team recently met TEAGS and explained the latest proposals were part of an ongoing consultation process, not the final plans.

Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director said: “We’re encouraged by the constructive engagement of local people in the consultation process as this will help shape the future development of plans for Sizewell C.”

Dr Coffey said she “heard strongly” from those at the meeting that the proposed campus location and solutions for the B1122 were not acceptable.

“I agree with that,” she added.

“There were some new points raised which I will look into and I recognise that there are some residents who do not want the new power station at all.”

Press Statement Public Meeting 7 January 2017

9 January 2017, for Immediate Release

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS), B1122 Action Group & Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group [1]

Over 200 attend joint Public Meeting on Sizewell C.szc-theberton-meeting-070117

Meeting expresses strong opposition to EDF’s Stage 2 proposals.

[THEBERTON, EAST SUFFOLK] Over 200 people packed into St Peter’s Church Theberton on Saturday 7 January for a spirited Public Meeting on Sizewell C, organised by Theberton and Eastbridge Parish Council with Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS), B1122 Action Group and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group.  A number of elected representatives participated: Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey, County Councillors including Michael Gower and Richard Smith, District Councillors and representatives from other Parish Councils nearby.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and encourage individual responses to EDF’s Stage 2 consultation on Sizewell C.

“The large numbers of people attending and the passionate expressions of concern showed how much local people feel profoundly let down by EDF’s Sizewell C Stage 2 proposals,” said Su Swallow, Co Chair of TEAGS. “Of overriding concern are EDF’s complete failure to present any new ideas in response to widespread opposition to a campus for 2,400 so close to Minsmere and Eastbridge, and its refusal to consider a relief road instead of relying on the B1122, which is clearly not fit for purpose. The dangers of water and dust pollution from EDF’s planned borrow pits and spoil heaps – especially to the Minsmere reserve – coastal erosion and the effect on tourism were also major topics of discussion.”

Speakers at the Public Meeting highlighted the importance of submitting a response to EDF by the 3 February deadline, and sending copies of their responses both to elected representatives and the Planning Inspectorate. With local people feeling frustrated at the lack of changes in EDF’s plans to date, speakers emphasised that the proposals at Stage 2 were always expected to merely be a “glossier” version of those at Stage 1, and that the critical period for action was between now and EDF’s Stage 3 consultation (dates uncertain).

“EDF has much to do to address local concerns about its plans for constructing Sizewell C. In addition to plugging the many significant holes in the information provided at Stage 2, we also call on EDF to be more transparent about the opinions expressed in the responses it receives, and more accountable to those that take the trouble to submit their views,” said Alison Downes, TEAGS Co Chair.

At the Public Meeting, Theberton & Eastbridge Parish Council sought residents’ views to help inform the Council’s response to Stage 2. This was followed by short presentations from TEAGS, B1122 and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group on transport, accommodation and the environment, before an open question and answer session. Saturday’s event had been promoted during a touring mini-exhibition ‘A Better Route to Sizewell C’, which shadowed EDF’s exhibit at nine locations before Christmas, to highlight the myriad concerns about EDF’s build plans and inform responses to Stage 2 consultations.

For more detailed comment on the various issues, contact:

General & Accommodation: Su Swallow or Alison Downes, TEAGS, 07711 843884, info@teags.org

Transport: Charles Macdowell, B1122 Action Group, 07788 755300, c.n.macdowell@gmail.com

Environment: Paul Collins, Minsmere Levels Stakeholders Group, 07503 283304, paul.f.collins1@gmail.com

Note

  1. Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell. www.teags.org.

The B1122 Action Group. http://sizewellrelief.weebly.com.

The Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group. http://minsmerelevelsstakeholdersgroup.onesuffolk.net

Fresh Calls for B1122 Relief Road Ahead of Sizewell C

Ipswich Star: Read Online

1 December 2016, by Richard Cornwell

Local campaigners on Sizewell C – Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS), B1122 Action Group and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group. L-R Jon Swallow, Amy Whitelock, John Rea-Price, Su Swallow, Gordon McInnes, Alison Downes, Charles Macdowell.

Campaigners have renewed calls for a dedicated relief road to be built to serve Sizewell C – and have urged the public to get behind the idea.

EDF has discounted a new road from the A12 to the coast, saying the B1122, with some safety improvements, will be perfectly adequate as the main route to and from the new nuclear power station.

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) says the power plant’s traffic will have a “devastating impact” on the area.

EDF says at peak construction there could be more than 1,500 lorry and bus movements a day – a 542% increase on current levels

TEAGS, which is not campaigning against the new power station and welcomes the benefits it could bring, wants to see a relief road, similar to the D2 route proposed but not built for Sizewell B.

It said as well as being the main traffic route, the B1122, a narrow, winding country road, would also be the emergency and evacuation route.

The group said: “The B1122 passes through three villages, and past Leiston Abbey and two retirement homes, and is clearly not fit to carry all the construction traffic. Its use will place an unfair burden of congestion, noise, pollution, vibration damage and accidents on local communities, and visitors.

“The project needs a dedicated relief road, direct from the A12 to the site. This would help reduce the impact on Yoxford, Middleton and Theberton as well as on tourism and ancient listed buildings. It would also reduce the risk of rat-runs from the wider area.

“A relief road would offer a second and more secure route for evacuation and emergency access.

“It would reduce pollution and disruption, and help secure delivery times to the site. After the build it could provide an economic legacy for Leiston and the area by giving better links to the A12 and avoiding inevitable congestion at Yoxford and Saxmundham.”

EDF admits the B1122 would endure a “significant increase” increase in traffic.

It has suggested a roundabout or traffic light junction at the A12 at Yoxford, plus a 40mph speed limit, work to reduce the road level near Middleton Moor to improve visibility and help traffic using Mill Street, and improvements to the road alignment, plus crossings and footpath work.

‘Shadow exhibition’ set to follow EDF to explain Sizewell C concerns

Read Online. 29 November 2016, 

An artist's impression of Sizewell C

An artist’s impression of Sizewell C

Campaigners are staging their own exhibitions to give residents an alternative view on EDF Energy’s latest proposals for Sizewell C.

The energy giant has unveiled its Stage 2 consultation for the new nuclear power station on the county’s coast and provided residents with further details on a range of issues – including proposed park-and-ride sites, an accommodation campus for workers, and road and rail improvements.

EDF is holding more than 20 public exhibitions across east Suffolk before Christmas. The consultation runs until Friday, February 3.

At the same time, Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS), B1122 Action Group and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group are organising a shadow mini-exhibition A Better Route to Sizewell C.

It will tour between November 25 and December 19, where possible coinciding with EDF’s exhibitions.

Su Swallow, co-chairman of TEAGS, said: “Whilst our groups are not opposed to Sizewell C, local people continue to have many concerns about how EDF intends to deliver this massive project, from the threats to a beautiful and precious environment to the likely impacts on health and wellbeing.

“Our small exhibition will help to highlight these concerns with the aim of informing responses to EDF’s consultations.”

Exhibitions will take place at: St Peter’s Church, Westleton, today, 4pm to 8pm; Aldeburgh Parish Church Hall, tomorrow, noon to 6pm; St John The Baptist, Saxmundham, Friday, 11am to 3pm; White Hart Inn, Blythburgh, December 7, 11am to 3pm; Darsham Village Hall, December 8, 2pm to 6pm; Bell Inn, Middleton, December 14, 11am to 3pm; and St Peter’s Church, Yoxford, December 19, 3.15pm to 8pm.

EADT, 24 November 2016

Sizewell C protest groups insist: ‘we are here to stay and we won’t be silenced’

Read online (with photos) here

Campaigners are rallying with renewed determineadteelsfootation to protect Suffolk from the unwanted consequences they fear a new nuclear power plant will bring.

24 November 2016, Andrew Hirst

EDF Energy’s long-awaited stage-two consultation for Sizewell C was met yesterday with dismay from communities neighbouring the proposed multibillion pound development site.

Campaign groups criticised the latest 300-page consultation as merely a “box-ticking exercise” which ignores objections raised four years ago.

While there was some support for the inclusion of a “two-villages bypass” on the A12 around Stratford St Andrew and Farnham, other elements of the proposals left campaigners “underwhelmed”. Concerns focused on the accommodation campus proposed for 2,500 temporary workers near Minsmere nature reserve, which residents say will have a “massive impact” on the neighbouring rural communities and environment.

EDF’s preferred road transport route along the B1122 has also provoked alarm for residents, who say it is “wholly unsuitable” for the volume of traffic expected during construction. Campaigners said they had called on EDF to come up with “creative solutions” to these problems and were left “disheartened” by the latest offer.

EDF stressed this was only the second of a three-stage consultation process to ensure “local communities have every opportunity to engage”.

But after four years, many of those gathered yesterday at the impromptu campaign headquarters at the Eel’s Foot in Eastbridge said they had expected EDF to provide greater detail and evidence for their proposals. With only “preliminary assessments” they say it is impossible to provide an informed response.

Members of the Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS), B1122 Action Group and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group, will be teaming up to hold exhibitions, titled “A Better Route to Sizewell C” alongside EDF’s own consultation events scheduled for the coming weeks.

Su Swallow, co-chairman of TEAGS, said: “We’re disappointed by the lack of movement from EDF. We’ve been pressing them for a long time to think of more creative solutions about how they will handle the workers’ accommodation and transport issues and yet there’s been no shift in what they propose.”

Alison Downes, TEAGS’ other co-chairman, added: “What has EDF been doing for the last four years since stage one? They have kicked the can down the road on these vital issues, making it very difficult for the public to respond.”

TEAGS John Price said it seemed the small neighbouring communities “did not feature in EDF’s calculations”. However, he warned: “We are here to stay and we won’t be silenced.”

Charles Macdowell, of the B1122 Action Group, said he had been left “underwhelmed” by the proposals, which ignored his group’s suggestions for a new transport route, departing the A12 from near Saxmundham.

He said the narrow B1122 from Yoxford to the site, was “wholly unsuitable” for the 1,300 daily lorry movements predicted, which represented a “staggering” 722% increase on current levels.

“I would not call this a proper consultation,” he added. “It’s just a box-ticking exercise.”

A spokesman for EDF said the company was looking forward to hearing local views on its latest plans.

“It is important to stress that this is the second stage of a three stage consultation process to ensure local communities have every opportunity to engage with us,” the spokesman added.

The company said it had a statutory requirement to demonstrate consultation with local communities, adding that feedback from stage one had led to it developing a preferred position on some of the key elements of the proposals, whilst other parts of the plans remain as options.