Reaction to Stage 3, 4 January 2019

JOINT PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release, 4 January 2019

Campaigners slam EDF intransigence on accommodation proposals for Sizewell C&D, welcome principle of a link road, but concerned about volume of traffic.

[SUFFOLK] Campaigners in east Suffolk today expressed profound dismay that EDF’s accommodation proposals for Sizewell C&D remain substantially unchanged, with a campus for 2,400 workers at Eastbridge. EDF’s ‘Stage 3’ consultation documents, published today, do not reassure local campaigners about the impacts of worker accommodation and traffic on the environment and neighbouring communities, who are on the front line of the largest construction project the east of England will have ever seen.

Alison Downes, Co Chair of Theberton and Eastbridge Action on Sizewell (TEAGS) said EDF’s Stage 3 proposals show that the company hasn’t listened either to us, the County Council or our MP [2] about its accommodation strategy, and ignored the opportunity for dispersal and legacy housing. We are outraged at the creation of a new temporary town – with only very minor adjustments – for 2,400 workers at Eastbridge, which we believe will exacerbate the threats to Minsmere, a national treasure. With EDF in such a rush to get on with this project, and so desperate to save money by using the supply chain from Hinkley Point, it seems even less likely that the predicted benefits to East Suffolk will outweigh the costs and impacts.” [3]

Today’s proposals contain revised transport plans: a so-called ‘Rail-led’ option, with 5 freight trains a day and a Theberton bypass, and a ‘Road-led’ option, with 2 trains and day and a link road from the A12 including the bypass of Theberton. The decision not to build a jetty, partly because EDF says it has not enough time to mitigate the environmental effects, brings a huge increase in the amount of material that has to be delivered to the site by other means.

Charles Macdowell of the B1122 Action Group said: “These transport proposals are really misnamed: both are essentially ‘Road-led’ with many hundreds of trucks a day, plus varying amounts of rail support. We have always argued for a proper link road, so the fact that one is at last an option is progress – although the route is far from ideal. The other option, of a token mini-bypass of just Theberton does nothing for the residents of Middleton or Yoxford.“

Paul Collins, from TEAGS and MLSG added: “EDF has said more about the environmental impacts and it will take some time to fully assess these documents. We remain extremely concerned about the potential impacts on Minsmere. Three fields near Eastbridge are earmarked for quarries and spoil heaps and EDF still hasn’t conducted vital studies, including on Health and Community Impacts. EDF claims that the project will bring £100 million a year into the local economy, but we believe there will be a significant detrimental loss of tourism income, currently worth £250 million each year.”

TEAGS, the B1122 Action Group and Minsmere Levels Stakeholder Group are running a series of alternative exhibitions during EDF’s Stage 3 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 “Sizewell Concerns”, [4] and encouraged to attend our Public Meeting at 10am on Saturday 23 February in Theberton Church before making their responses to EDF.

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

 

 

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] Opposition to the Eastbridge campus has been supported by local MP Dr. Therese Coffey. [4]  In 2017, Suffolk County Council commissioned Boyer and Cannon to look at other sites that offered more legacy and a reduced environmental impact. https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/assets/planning-waste-and-environment/major-infrastructure-projects/170711-FINAL-Report-Boyer-21.06.2017.pdf.  In Somerset, worker accommodation will comprise 510 immediately adjacent to the build site, the remaining 986 in Bridgwater, population c40,000, on a site that has been laid out and infrastructure installed so it can be used for new houses after the build, thereby offering a legacy.

 

[3] Suffolk County and District Councils’ response to EDF’s Stage 2 consultations, February 2017: https://www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/assets/Planning/Sizewell/SCC-and-SCDC-response-to-EDF-Energy-2-Feb-2017.pdf

 

[4] ‘Sizewell Concerns’ can be viewed at: (see also www.teags.org/exhibition)

Leiston, Saturday 5 January, 11am – 5pm, Quaker Meeting Rooms, Waterloo Road

Theberton & Eastbridge, Monday 7 January 11am – 7pm, St Peter’s Church

Yoxford, Tuesday 8 January 11am – 5pm, Yoxford Cricket Pavilion

Darsham, Wednesday 9 January 2pm – 8pm, Darsham Village Hall

Saxmundham, Saturday 12 January, 10am – 4pm, St John’s Church

Middleton, Wednesday 16 January, 11am – 7pm, Holy Trinity Church

Southwold, Tuesday 17 January, 11am – 5pm, United Reformed Church Hall, High Street

Aldeburgh, Friday 18 January, 1pm – 5.45pm, Aldeburgh Church Hall