by Richard Cornwell, 7 February 2017
Campaigners are seeking meetings with two Government ministers as they press the case for more Whitehall help to offset the huge predicted impact of Sizewell C.
With the construction of the nuclear power station likely to take more than a decade, it will cause enormous disruption across a wide area – affecting tourism, the environment, traffic, and people’s day-to-day lives.
Action groups believe the Government, having designated the county’s coast as a location for a new nuclear build, needs to take a more active role in the project because of the sensitive nature of the site.
Alison Downes, co-chairman of Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS), said: “The Suffolk coast is a completely different site from Hinkley Point, which is a brownfield site, and needs to be treated very differently.
“Essentially, this is a proposal for Sizewell C and Sizewell D as one project and will have an enormous impact.
“We want to meet the Government ministers involved to ensure they fully understand what is happening. At the moment we just feel there is not enough intervention or oversight or recognition of the sensitivity of this area and the need for a special approach.”
TEAGS believes some of the impacts will be magnified by the sheer scale of the proposed development. It has asked EDF: “Is there merit in a review of the size of the development, and the benefits that could be achieved by a reduction in scale?”
Along with the B1122 Action Group, Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group and others, TEAGS is trying to set up meetings with Jesse Norman, under secretary of state for industry and energy, and under secretary of state for transport, Andrew Jones.
Charles Macdowell, of the B1122 Action Group, said: “EDF seems to have a one-size-fits-all model for two reactors and two turbine halls.
“They are building a power station at Flamanville, then put forward the exact same one for Hinkley Point C, and then the exact same one for Sizewell C.”
EDF Energy’s Stage Two consultation for the project has now closed and the company has this week started the process of analysing the responses, which it says it will take into account as it prepares to finalise its plans.