Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) Public Meeting demonstrates serious ongoing concern about EDF’s proposals [see a report on the meeting by EADT on 26 March 2015]
[Theberton] On 21 March more than 60 local residents heard TEAGS present a report on its work to raise concerns about EDF’s Sizewell C plans – for worker accommodation next to Eastbridge and reliance on the B1122 for all traffic – and discussed future activities.
Three County Councillors; Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for roads, Michael Gower and Richard Smith attended and took part in robust discussion, along with James Sandbach, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal constituency. A letter from Therese Coffey MP, reiterating her opposition to the siting of EDF’s worker accommodation, was also read out to an audience that included residents of Blythburgh, Yoxford, Middleton, Leiston and Saxmundham.
TEAGS Chair Jon Swallow said “The meeting demonstrated that the community remains deeply concerned about many of the impacts of the proposed new reactors at Sizewell, especially the siting of construction workers, and believes that a relief road is essential. We welcomed the presence of three County Councillors and urge them to lobby their colleagues and EDF to substantially alter their plans before any further consultations take place.”
He went on: “Our audience and Councillors alike raised the urgent need to increase awareness of the impacts of Sizewell C’s construction on other surrounding villages and communities. These impacts will certainly be felt much further afield than Theberton and Eastbridge, and we need to work together to make our voices heard.”
To read the press statement from Graham Newman in full, go to http://www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk/news/suffolk-communities-urge-edf-energy-to-provide-bypass-solution/
11 March 2015. “The end is nigh: last rites for Hinkley C.” Jonathan Porritt’s blog in The Ecologist. http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/Blogs/2787780/the_end_is_nigh_last_rites_for_hinkley_c.html
23 February 2015. A traffic study predicted future traffic flows on the A12 could be 20,210 vehicles a day, including around 1,795 Sizewell-related vehicles – nearly 1,200 of them lorries. East Anglian Daily Times: http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/east_suffolk_a12_villages_set_for_30_increase_in_traffic_1_3966468
20 February 2015. Wildlife around Sizewell C site at ‘severe risk’, says Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth. East Anglian Daily Times. http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/wildlife_around_sizewell_c_site_at_severe_risk_says_suffolk_coastal_friends_of_the_earth_1_3963269
5 February 2015. Wait goes on for Sizewell C details as second stage of consultation still delayed. East Anglian Daily Times. http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/wait_goes_on_for_sizewell_c_details_as_second_stage_of_consultation_still_delayed_1_3943111
30 January 2015. Wildlife habitat will be created ahead of any Sizewell C decision. East Anglian Daily Times. http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/wildlife_habitat_will_be_created_ahead_of_any_sizewell_c_decision_1_3936211
14 January 2015. A new power station in Sizewell will be needed – but costs will have to come down to compete with other sources (Ed Davey). East Anglian Daily Times. http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/a_new_power_station_in_sizewell_will_be_needed_but_costs_will_have_to_come_down_to_compete_with_other_sources_1_3915969
Contacts: Su and Jon Swallow: 01728 830981, Gordon McInnes: 01728 635888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
9 October 2014
Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) expresses support for communities adjacent to the site of Hinkley Point C nuclear new build in Somerset
TEAGS fears that EDF’s failure to adequately address local concerns at Hinkley will be repeated in east Suffolk.
[SUFFOLK] Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) today expressed support for local Somerset residents, as the European Commission decided that revised UK plans to subsidise the construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset were in line with EU state aid rules . TEAGS members warned that EDF’s failure to adequately address the concerns of local residents in Somerset was likely to be repeated in east Suffolk, as EDF moves forward with its proposals for Sizewell C.
“We can imagine how residents next to Hinkley C must be feeling. Although EDF has yet to make a final investment decision, local campaigners must now fear that there is very little standing in the way of the company proceeding with its construction plan, aspects of which they have fought valiantly to change,” said Su Swallow of TEAGS. “Having visited Hinkley and spoken to locals, we learned that their experience of negotiating with EDF matches our own in seeking to persuade EDF to amend its proposals – the company appears deaf to what we have to say.”
Gordon McInnes of TEAGS added: “Almost two years after the first consultation stage here in Suffolk on Sizewell C, EDF is doggedly sticking to unacceptable plans that will have a devastating impact on our tiny parish – including a multi-storey campus for 3,000 construction workers 300 metres from a hamlet of 100 people, and a wildly unrealistic expectation that the B1122, a country road through Theberton, can cope with all construction, accommodation and emergency traffic.”
In June, two members of TEAGS and two members of the Suffolk Parishes Liaison Group travelled to Somerset to visit the Hinkley Point C site and meet councillors and representatives of the communities most affected by the planned development. Their findings reflected the experience of east Suffolk residents in addressing proposals for Sizewell C, where EDF has so far failed to adequately address local concerns including:
• transport and emergency access, with the B1122 being unfit for purpose.
• opposition to worker accommodation proposals. Specifically EDF proposes an on-site campus for 3000 construction workers adjacent to the tiny hamlet of Eastbridge. In Hinkley, 500 workers will live on the site, the remaining 1,000 on brownfield sites in Bridgwater (population 41,000).
• Noise and light pollution from the construction site.
• impact on sensitive wildlife sites
“Whilst EDF is using the same language in Suffolk as in Somerset – a desire to ‘be a good neighbour’ – we found that local campaigners at Hinkley had had to fight extremely hard in order to gain even the smallest concessions,” said Jon Swallow of TEAGS, who has been in regular contact with Hinkley communities for for more than two years. “What guarantees do we have that we will be able to achieve any shift in EDF’s plans for Sizewell?”
EDF will launch an additional consultation stage ‘in the coming months’ and have promised to provide more detail about their plans, but so far their approach to consultation appears more like one-way information; rather than trying to understand community concerns and modify their plans to minimize or remove the impact upon their neighbours. Local communities will be working hard between now and then to ensure that their concerns about the decade-long construction phase have been loudly and formally registered, before it is too late for EDF to amend their proposals.
1. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1093_en.htm?locale=en. Austria plans to challenge this decision.
EDF Executives from the local area and from London met with the Theberton and Eastbridge Actions Group on Sizewell on 15 April 2014.
Before the meeting in Theberton’s Jubilee Hall, TEAGS members took four senior EDF executives on a short a minibus tour of the parish, and along a stretch of the B1122, to highlight some our concerns and to impress on them the extraordinary qualities of this place. They spoke to a few local residents on the way. The weather was perfect.
EDF then gave a project update and feedback on the various consultations so far. TEAGS set out our concerns about the nature of some aspects of the consultations, such as the continued lack of key information, the campus maps that crop out Eastbridge, the limited response time at Stage 1, and so on.
The main focus of this workshop was accommodation, but transport, environment, light and noise pollution, mental health, emergency evacuation, and impact on tourism were also discussed. EDF has agreed we will have further workshop meetings in the autumn to discuss transport and environment in more detail.
EDF strongly defended their campus site choice as the most economical, as an attractive option for contractors, and citing the need to attract ‘high calibre workers’ and to avoid adding to road traffic. Our impression was that it will be an uphill struggle to persuade EDF to seriously consider alternatives, such as dispersed accommodation that could, in due course, become legacy housing.
We will continue our dialogue with the developer on all the concerns of this parish, and of the many visitors who come to share our enjoyment of this magical place.
Minutes of this workshop, agreed with EDF, are now available here