The most important recommendation is to respond to EDF’s Stage 2 consultation: This page summarises the key issues with practical details, including addresses and deadlines, at the end.
How will EDF’s construction proposals as outlined in their Stage 2 proposals affect our small communities?
- A new ‘town’ for up to 2,400 workers, on farmland next to Eastbridge, and close to RSPB’s Minsmere Reserve
- The B1122 to be used for almost all Sizewell transport, including up to 900 HGVs per day, and as the emergency and evacuation route
- Construction will affect the rich variety of wildlife habitats, and the fragile coastline
- Thousands of visitors will be faced with traffic congestion, noise and air pollution, and blots on the landscape
THE ISSUES: You can also view our touring exhibition display boards here for more information about these issues. See also links to the texts of presentations made at the Public Meeting under the relevant sections.
TEAGS is not campaigning against the new power station, and welcomes the benefits it could bring. We, and the local residents we represent, are concerned that some of the construction proposals will place an intolerable burden on our small rural parishes, on the many visitors and on the unique environment in which we live. Yet we believe that, given a more imaginative approach on key issues, EDF could do much more to protect the special nature of this area, and our quality of life.
Environment: Construction will impact coastal processes and groundwater, as well as a wide range of birds, animals and plants. It will threaten two Sites of Special Scientific Interest including the nationally treasured Minsmere Reserve. It will damage the unique qualities that make this part of Suffolk so special – peace, tranquillity and dark night skies – and drive visitors away. It will be impossible to replace or mitigate some of the lost habitats that currently support the rare birds, animals and plants.
Our view: Too little research and analysis has been published by EDF on the effects that the construction site will have both on the coast and on the sensitive Sizewell Marshes and Minsmere Levels. As a result there is insufficient information provided to be able to give a truly informed response to the consultation questionnaire. We suggest asking EDF to publish its full Environmental Impact Assessment urgently, and we call on EDF not to exacerbate environmental impacts by building a town for 2,400 workers so close to protected areas.
- The accommodation site, construction laydown areas, the newly revealed “borrow pits” – better described as large gravel pits or quarries – and SSSI crossing could impact the fragile hydrology of the Minsmere Levels, Sizewell Marsh and Minsmere Sluice.
- Water runoff from the accommodation and laydown areas is to be managed in water management zones [WMZs]. Should too much be allowed to run off directly it could overwhelm the Leiston drain and its Minsmere sluice culvert. If too much is pumped directly to the sea, it could cause drying on the Minsmere and Sizewell marshes. The SSSI crossing will alter the drainage of the Sizewell Marsh, damaging this fragile habitat.
- When the borrow pits are filled in with unwanted materials, water pollution could occur over many decades as the materials are leached into the local aquifer. The heaps of spoil and materials beyond the borrow pits – which could rise to 35m, as high as a 10-storey building – could cause significant dust pollution to the Minsmere Levels.
- We question what will be the effect on longterm coastal processes of a jetty, beach landing facility and the reinforcement of the SZC platform.
- We believe the local tourism industry will be hit hard. Suffolk’s Nature Strategy recognises the importance of peace, tranquillity and landscape and states that visitor experiences must ‘match and surpass expectations’. Noise, dust and visual impacts both to the north and south will deter tourism to Minsmere, Dunwich, Thorpeness and Aldeburgh. Public access through Sizewell Belts to the foreshore will be blocked during construction. Local holiday businesses may have to accept lower income levels as workers take up those places but at lower rates.
Accommodation: EDF intends to build a new ‘town’ for 2,400 workers – including multi-storey residences, car parks and leisure facilities. The campus will sit on good agricultural land close to Minsmere and next to Eastbridge, a hamlet of 50 people, and require mains power and water to be installed. It will then be totally dismantled after a decade or more of construction.
Our view: We urge you to tell EDF not to build the campus at Eastbridge: it will exacerbate environmental impacts and place a disproportionate burden on Leiston, Eastbridge and Theberton. It will affect the thousands of visitors to Minsmere and to the coast.
- Noise, air and light pollution, the increase in local traffic, and the potential for anti-social behaviour will affect the health and wellbeing of all residents in the area.
- We call on EDF to disperse the accommodation in a more urban setting, that has existing infrastructure and which could benefit from the investment. At Hinkley, in Somerset, EDF will build two campuses, in Bridgwater (population 40,000), and a small campus right next to the build. In Suffolk, given an urban location and appropriate design, the accommodation could then offer a legacy of affordable housing.
Transport: EDF is relying on the B1122, a narrow winding country road, to carry 900 lorries a day, and simultaneously act as the emergency and evacuation route.
The B1122 passes through three villages, and past Leiston Abbey and two retirement homes, and is clearly not fit for purpose 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.
Our view: We endorse the findings of a Suffolk County Council survey in July 2016, that revealed that traffic on the B1122 was ‘the number one’ concern for the community, with residents feeling that EDF has not yet provided any satisfactory solutions.
- The project needs a dedicated relief road (similar to the ‘D2’ route proposed for Sizewell B), 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.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Respond to Stage 2: The most important thing you can do is respond to the consultations: there were 1,300 responses to Stage 1 and we’d like to see an increase in that number at Stage 2, with as many as possible raising the issues of concern highlighted on this page.
The deadline for responding is 3 February 2017. You can register and respond to EDF online at https://edfsizewell.dialoguebydesign.net (*see note below for how to save your online response) or complete and return EDF’s printed questionnaire to Freepost SZC Consultation in the envelope provided, or to EDF Sizewell C Information Office, 48-50 High Street Leiston, Suffolk IP16 4EW.
The Questionnaire asks you to select from a number of options. If you do not support any of these options, you should not feel constrained to select the “least worst”, but reject them all and freely state your views.
Write: We encourage you to write a letter to EDF as well as complete the questionnaire. Send letters before 3 February 2017 to EDF Sizewell C Information Office (address above).
We strongly recommend making copies of your Questionnaire (*see note below for saving your online questionnaire) and/or letters and send them to the addresses below:
The Planning Inspectorate [PINS], Temple Quay House, Temple Quay, Bristol , BS1 6PN.
Dr Therese Coffey MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
Cllr Colin Noble, Suffolk County Council, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX.
Cllr Ray Herring, Suffolk Coastal District Council, East Suffolk House, Station Road, Melton, Woodbridge IP12 1RT.
* Dialogue by Design gave the following instructions for saving your response to the online questionnaire: “Once you have logged in, you should be presented with another page – the one where there is the orange button that says “Complete the questionnaire” – this is the link: https://edfsizewell.dialoguebydesign.net/main.asp. Underneath the orange button there’s a box which gives you the option to view it in a print friendly format. If you click this, you can print directly from the page. The other thing you can do is click print, or press ctrl P, and then choose the option to “Save as PDF” rather than choosing to print. That will allow you to save the file as a PDF.”