Stage 4 Reaction

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT For Immediate Release, 18 July 2019

Campaigners say EDF has turned its back on local people in its Stage 4 proposals on Sizewell C 

New consultation is “just tinkering and PR”, with EDF still planning a “useless” new road on a route campaigners oppose, and no changes to campus plans

[SUFFOLK] Campaigners in east Suffolk today expressed dismay that EDF has made no significant changes to their plans for Sizewell C, in its Stage 4 consultation proposals released today (18 July 2019). In particular it has refused to move on the route of the Sizewell Link Road/Theberton Bypass or a campus for 2,400 construction workers next to Eastbridge. The only crumbs of comfort for locals are the ‘option’ for the new road to be removed after more than a decade of construction, and slightly lower ‘busiest day’ truck numbers – although the total HGVs seem to be unchanged. 

EDF has still not yet produced a full Environmental Statement, nor the required assessments of the impacts on the local community on Tourism, Health and Community Safety. Campaigners remain deeply concerned about the impact on RSPB Minsmere, but welcome the suggestion of compensating habitat for marsh harriers.

Alison Downes of TEAGS said: “We called for more consultations, but see very little substance in EDF’s Stage 4 proposals: the company has completely ignored our concerns – and those of our MP and Councils – about the location of the 2,400 bed campus. EDF staff even said at the Community Forum that split sites at Hinkley Point were not popular with contractors. Who are they putting first – their suppliers or local people?”

Speaking about EDF’s proposed Link Road route, Charles Macdowell of B1122 Action Group said: “EDF says it has commissioned a favourable independent study of its route but refuses to share this ‘evidence’ with anyone. The fact that the company is now thinking of taking up this useless road after construction confirms that is has no interest in leaving a positive legacy. How much better would it be if they chose the right route that we and the County Council have been arguing for?”

Three transport strategies are now proposed – all in essence road-led – despite EDF admitting that the rail-led option is very unlikely, making its inclusion a nonsense, say campaigners.

They also expressed fury at the timing of the consultations, falling over the summer holiday, and EDF’s limited public exhibitions, which do not even include Theberton & Eastbridge, Middleton or other affected communities such as Darsham.

“For the first time in nearly seven years of consultations, EDF is not even bothering to bring its exhibitions to our communities and explain why it is refusing to change its highly damaging plans,” added Alison Downes. “Instead it is subjecting us to a largely empty consultation over the summer, all because EDF is suddenly in a hurry in order to save money.” 

TEAGS, the B1122 Action Group and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group will host alternative exhibitions during EDF’s Stage 4 consultations, including in communities that EDF won’t be visiting. Members of the public are warmly invited to visit the Sizewell Concerns exhibition and attend a Public Meeting at 10am on Saturday 14 September in Theberton Church, which will feature a guest speaker from Hinkley Point, before responding to EDF. 

Sizewell Concerns can be viewed at: (*denotes a shadow exhibition to EDF)

Friday 18 – Sunday 21 July, Latitude Festival (in the ‘Village’)

Tuesday 23 July* 2 – 8pm, Quaker Meeting Rooms, Leiston 

Wednesday 24 July* 1 – 6pm, Yoxford Cricket Pavilion

Thursday 25 July, 5 – 8pm, Theberton Village Hall

Friday 26 July* 2 – 8pm, Hutchinson Room, Woodbridge Community Hall (with other Groups)

Saturday 3 August, 2 – 4pm, Darsham Village Fete

Saturday 24 August, 2 – 5pm, Middleton Village Fete

Notes:

1. EDF representative Richard Bull told the Community Forum that he had commissioned an independent study to review the routes for a Sizewell Link Road, and was satisfied that the “correct” route had been chosen; however he stated that this “evidence” would not be presented until Development Consent Order application. Mr Bull also acknowledged concern about the campus but said that “doesn’t mean we have to agree” and repeated the insulting justification that the split site campuses at Hinkley Point “did not prove popular with contractors” – thereby confirming that the wishes of paid contractors will override the concerns of local people. In email correspondence with TEAGS, SZC Project Development Director Jim Crawford rendered TEAGS almost speechless by writing “We have not had any feedback from communities suggesting they would like to host a campus in any location within their parish boundaries.” It should be noted that Eastbridge and Leiston were not asked whether “they would like to host a campus”, it is simply being imposed on them by EDF.

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 

Contacts: Alison Downes (TEAGS), 07711 843884, info@teags.org

Paul Collins (TEAGS, MLSG), 07503 283304, paul.f.collins@gmail.com 

Charles Macdowell (B1122 Action Group), 07788 755300, c.n.macdowell@gmail.com