Reaction to Stage 2 proposals

For Immediate Release, 23 November 2016

Campaigners slam EDF for ignoring local concerns about Sizewell C proposals and for failing to provide vital information

Missed opportunity for creative solutions to accommodation and transport misery, prolonging anxiety about environmental and community impacts

[SUFFOLK] Campaigners in east Suffolk today expressed profound dismay that, after almost four years, EDF’s proposals for Sizewell C remain largely unchanged, with a campus for 2,400 workers at Eastbridge, no consideration of a relief road, and major gaps in the information provided. EDF’s ‘Stage 2’ consultation documents, published today, ignore local concerns about the impacts of worker accommodation and construction traffic on the environment and neighbouring communities in the front line of the largest infrastructure project the east of England has ever seen.

Su Swallow, Co Chair of Theberton and Eastbridge Action on Sizewell (TEAGS) said “We’re not opposed to Sizewell C and welcome the benefits it would bring, but EDF’s Stage 2 proposals show that the company simply hasn’t listened to our concerns about how this massive project will be delivered, and is mainly focused on doing things as cheaply as possible. It’s devastating that EDF is insisting on building a new town for two and a half thousand workers at Eastbridge, which we believe will exacerbate the threats to Minsmere, a national treasure.”

Alison Downes, TEAGS Co Chair added: “These consultation documents are notable for what is missing: options from Stage 1 have disappeared leading us to question whether this is genuine consultation. There is a lack of clear evidence and rationale for their proposals and critical information about environmental and community impact, coastal processes, noise, water and flood risk is simply not available. What has EDF been doing for the last four years since Stage 1? They have kicked the can down the road on providing answers about these vital issues, making it very difficult for the public to respond.”

Since 2012 local campaigners have met EDF senior executives a number of times to help EDF be a good neighbour, and persuade the company to alter its proposals, including changing its plans to build accommodation for thousands of workers so close to Minsmere, where at Hinkley Point C, EDF will spread worker accommodation over several smaller sites. [2] Opposition to the Eastbridge campus is supported by local MP Dr Therese Coffey. [3]

Another major concern is EDF’s insistence that the B1122 – a narrow, winding country road – is suitable for construction and worker traffic. EDF’s own estimates predict up to 1,300 lorry and bus movements on the B1122 at peak, a 542% increase on current traffic, and a staggering 722% increase for Yoxford. [4] Suffolk County Council revealed in July that traffic on the B1122 was “the number one” concern for the community, with residents feeling that EDF had not yet provided any satisfactory solutions. [5]

Charles Macdowell of the B1122 Action Group said: “EDF’s Stage 2 proposals do nothing to alleviate our concerns about transport. Despite the long time since Stage 1, all EDF can come up with is some minor tinkering with the B1122. Our own studies [6] show that a dedicated new road for Sizewell C would prevent 12 years of traffic chaos on the B1122, A12 and surrounding area. On both transport and accommodation, EDF has wasted the last four years and has missed a valuable opportunity for some creative solutions that would bring a lasting positive legacy to the area, whilst reducing the harm to the environment and local people in the path of Sizewell C.“

TEAGS, the B1122 Action Group and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group are running a series of alternative exhibitions during EDF’s Stage 2 consultations, to help raise awareness of how the Sizewell C proposals will affect nearby communities. Members of the public are warmly invited to visit our exhibition entitled “A Better Route to Sizewell C” before making their responses to EDF. [7]

Su Swallow said: “While today’s news is very disheartening we are committed to continuing to campaign to protect this magical and special place. With the many challenges EDF is encountering with its other new builds, we believe it will be some considerable time before Sizewell C is constructed, so we will continue to press EDF to get its proposals right.”

Notes
[1] Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell was formed in 2013 to represent the concerns of its residents about EDF’s accommodation and transport plans. It has the full support of the Parish Council. www.teags.org. The B1122 Action Group was formed in 2013 to press EDF for a dedicated road from the A12 to the Sizewell C construction site. http://sizewellrelief.weebly.com. The Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group monitors the management of the water catchment area of the Minsmere River, Leiston Beck and Leiston Drain, its subsequent discharge through the Minsmere Sluice to the sea, as well as the state of coastal erosion across the Minsmere Haven area. http://minsmerelevelsstakeholdersgroup.onesuffolk.net
[2] In Somerset, worker accommodation will comprise 500 immediately adjacent to the build site, the remaining 1,000 on two sites in Bridgwater, population 50,000, with the potential for some legacy student accommodation. In Suffolk, up to 3,000 workers will be housed on green fields around 2-3 miles from the build site, and a very long way from suitable infrastructure and entertainment for workers off-shift.
[3] See letter to constituents, March 2015. https://www.dropbox.com/s/bh59xeneruu5osm/CoffeyLetterMarch2015.pdf
[4] EDF Stage 2 detailed Consultation Document, page 87.
[5] County Councillor Guy McGregor said: “We needed to hear what concerns local people have about the development. This report has given voice to such concerns and EDF need to listen and act upon this….. We will use this information to ask EDF Energy to take direct measures to address the widespread worries of the local community.” http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/traffic_analysis_raises_serious_concerns_over_sizewell_c_1_4618024
[6] See http://teags.org/transport/
[7] Exhibitions will be held at (see also www.teags.org/exhibition)
Theberton & Eastbridge, Friday 25 November, 2 – 8pm. Venue: St Peter’s Church, Theberton.
Leiston, Saturday 26 November, 10am – 4pm. Venue: Quaker Meeting House, Waterloo Avenue.
Westleton, Tuesday 29 November from 4 – 8pm. Venue: St Peter’s Church, Westleton.
Aldeburgh, Wednesday 30 November from 12 – 6pm. Venue: Aldeburgh Parish Church Hall.
Saxmundham, Friday 2 December from 11am – 3pm. Venue: St John The Baptist, Saxmundham.
Blythburgh, Wednesday 7 December from 11am – 3pm. Venue: The White Hart Inn.
Darsham, Thursday 8 December, from 2 – 6pm. Venue: Village Hall, The Street.
Middleton, Wednesday 14 December from 11am – 3pm. Venue: The Bell Inn.
Yoxford, Monday 19 December from 2 – 8pm. Venue: Village Hall, Yoxford.