Sizewell: Groups unite in protest against power plant plans

Grab of EADT on walkEast Anglian Daily Times, 2 June 2014. http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/sizewell_groups_unite_in_protest_against_power_plant_plans_1_3623743

Opponents of a third nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast gathered to walk in protest against the proposed development.

Campaigners from three groups, established in response to EDF Energy’s plan to build Sizewell C, marched with local residents along the B1122 – the proposed main route for the construction site near Leiston.

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) organised the Yoxford to Sizewell walk with the B1122 Action Group and Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group (TEAG) in order to “draw attention to the impact Sizewell C will have on the area”. The groups also share concerns about the impact of an accommodation village for construction workers.

TASC’s acting chairman Pete Wilkinson, called the proposals “monstrous”. He added: “This development will cause major destruction to an area of outstanding natural beauty, our coast and to sites of special scientific interest and must be stopped.

“We appreciate that those facing 600 lorry movements a day are naturally concerned first and foremost with a relief road, but if the development goes ahead, the entire nature of the area will be changed as it is urbanised by the proposed Sizewell C two nuclear reactor development, which will be the largest civil engineering project this county has ever seen. Add to this the associated developments in East Suffolk which include Hacheston and Darsham, and we must recognise the development of Sizewell C would change the ambience of the area as we know it and must be stopped in its tracks. Mitigation is just that, and it cannot replace that which is lost, including our way of life.”

EDF Energy stressed that no final decisions have been made over transport links, accommodation and other issues, though it has preferred options.

Further consultation will take place this year, with a third stage in 2015, before final proposals are submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

The firm said stage two will provide more details on transport, preliminary environmental information and associated development sites.

A spokeswoman said: “We respect the rights of individuals to peaceful protest but are mindful of the impact this can have on local communities.

“EDF Energy continues to consult widely on plans for Sizewell C. At the latest community forum the company announced that three rounds of consultation are now being proposed, instead of the planned two stage process, to ensure people have the chance to have their say on the emerging plans. The details for the consultation strategy will be formally submitted to the local authorities in a ‘Statement of Community Consultation’ in the coming weeks.”

MEP hears voice of Sizewell Protesters

Andrew Duff MEP visited Theberton and Eastbridge on 11 April. Read our Press Release in full below. The East Anglian Daily Times story is available online , published 12 April 2014.

BBC Radio Suffolk, Breakfast Show, available on BBC iPlayer, until 19 April 2014. Andrew Duff’s visit is the first item on the 6am, 7am and 8am and 9am news. At 7am there is an interview with Andrew Duff, and from 8am the interviewee is TEAGS member Su Swallow.

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell, Press Release, 11 April 2014

Damaging impact of Sizewell C proposals highlighted in MEP’s visit to East Suffolk

Communities in the firing line of EDF’s plans welcome Andrew Duff MEP to Theberton and Eastbridge.

For more information contact: info@teags.org, Jon Swallow: 01728 830981, Alison Downes: 07711 843884 or Gordon McInnes 07786 1096928.

[East Suffolk] Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) [1] will host a visit by Andrew Duff MEP to their small east suffolk parish on 11 April from 3pm [2], to illustrate how EDF Energy’s plans for Sizewell C will irretrievably damage their local environment and quality of life. EDF is seeking to build twin nuclear reactors to the north of two existing power stations. It plans to rely on the B1122 to carry all construction and emergency traffic, and house 3,000 construction workers in a multi-storey campus adjacent to the tiny hamlet of Eastbridge.

“If Sizewell C goes ahead it would be the biggest construction site the east of England has ever seen” said Jon Swallow, Chair of the Sizewell Parishes Liaison Group and member of TEAGS. “It would damage a fragile and internationally protected environment, and destroy the unique qualities that make this part of Suffolk so special, and so popular with visitors – the peace and tranquility and dark night skies. We hope Andrew Duff will help us find out how Energy Secretary Ed Davey came to include Sizewell as a site for potential new reactors, when he rejected other places on the basis of their fragile and protected environment.”

“It appears EDF remains wholly determined to accommodate up to 3,000 workers on the edge of Eastbrldge, thereby creating an industrial town next to a rural hamlet of barely 100 people” added Alison Downes, a Theberton resident and member of TEAGs. “Here in Theberton and Eastbridge, we are the people directly in the firing line of these proposals, and EDF should not simply be allowed to ride roughshod over the tiny communities in its path.” 

TEAGs members question why Sizewell plans differ from Hinkley Point in Somerset, where worker accommodation is split into several smaller dispersed sites in larger centres of population, better equipped to absorb the influx and with greater potential of bringing a long-term beneficial legacy to the region.

Gordon McInnes, who lives on the B1122 in Theberton said “We find it ludicrous that EDF expects this country B-road through our village to cope with 600 construction lorry journeys a day, most of the worker traffic and to be the main emergency access and exit route. Such a large project must not go ahead without a dedicated new road.”

On 28 March EDF announced plans to hold further ‘consultation’. This was reported as being “to give people the chance to comment on and discuss developing ideas for some of the key parts of the estimated £14 billion project” (EADT, 29 March) [3]. However, those attending a Community Forum meeting were left in no doubt that EDF does not intend to substantively reconsider plans for worker accommodation, and that the ‘consultation’ would be merely window-dressing.

“I and others attending a recent Community Forum were distressed and angered by EDF’s refusal to respond to concerns of local residents” said Jon Swallow. “We are delighted Andrew Duff is visiting, as we need our elected representatives to defend our best interests. We will not rest until we have made our voices heard.” 

Notes to editors

1. See https://www.teags.org for full details of the range of concerns held by Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group.

2. Meet at Theberton Village Hall on Church Road, no later than 3pm.

3. See Sizewell: Public to be given extra say on Sizewell C options as additional consultation round announced. http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/sizewell_public_to_be_given_extra_say_on_sizewell_c_options_as_additional_consultation_round_announced_1_3494322

Residents’ horror at Sizewell proposal

Clipping above is from the East Anglian Daily Times, 24 January 2014. Read on the EADT Website 

Other Recent News

Spectator, 22 February 2014 “Why has Britain signed up for the world’s most expensive power station?”  by Peter Atherton.  http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9141142/why-has-britain-signed-up-for-the-worlds-most-expensive-power-station/

B1122 Action Group spokesperson Charles MacDowell was interviewed on BBC Radio Suffolk 21 February 2014 (no longer available to listen again).

Telegraph, 25 January 2014 “Suffolk in Winter” by Brian Jackman, which gives a taste of the unique character of east Suffolk.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/10587459/Suffolk-in-winter.html