Summary of Stage 3 Concerns, January 2019

EDF’s huge construction plans will affect us all

  • Up to 1,500 HGVs a day, plus park & ride buses, vans and cars with a 1,000 car park for daily traffic.
  • 3 and 4 storey campus for 2,400 workers, with two storey car park close to Eastbridge.
  • Threats to the most biodiverse UK wildlife habitat and fragile Heritage coast.
  • Tourism will be hit, with visitors facing disruption, noise and pollution, spoilt landscapes, closed footpaths and beaches.

THE ISSUES

We are not campaigning against Sizewell C&D but we, and those we represent, are concerned that it will place an intolerable burden on our small rural parishes, on the many visitors and on our unique environment. We consider that EDF could do much more to protect the special nature of this area, and our quality of life.

Environment:  Construction will threaten two Sites of Special Scientific Interest including the nationally treasured Minsmere Reserve, which has a #LoveMinsmere campaign. It will damage the unique qualities that make this part of Suffolk so special – peace, tranquility and dark night skies – and drive visitors away. It will be impossible to replace or mitigate the loss of habitats that host rare birds, animals and plants.

Our view:  EDF’s plans will cut the AONB in half for at least a decade. There are no guarantees it can protect sensitive local environments sufficiently. EDF’s statement that environmental best practice “will be taken into account” is simply not good enough. We demand EDF does not exacerbate environmental impacts by building a town for 2,400 workers so close to protected areas, and call on EDF to publish its full Environmental Impact Assessment before applying for planning consent.

  • EDF’s construction laydown areas, accommodation site, spoil heaps, quarries and causeway crossing of the SSSI will damage the fragile hydrology of the Minsmere Levels, Sizewell Marsh and, consequently, affect the Minsmere Sluice. Changes in the management of water run-off could overwhelm or cause drying of sensitive ecosystems. The SSSI crossing will alter the drainage of Sizewell Marsh, damaging this important habitat.
  • We are concerned about the potential effect on long term coastal processes of a beach landing facility and the reinforcement of the Sizewell C platform.
  • When the quarry pits are filled in with excavated materials, water pollution could occur over many decades as materials are leached into the aquifer and Minsmere Levels. The spoil heaps, which may rise to 35m (as high as a 10-storey building) could cause significant dust pollution to the AONB, Minsmere Levels and Sizewell Marsh.

Accommodation:  EDF is persisting with plans to build a temporary new ‘town’ for 2,400 workers, housed in 3-4 storey blocks with car parks and leisure facilities, on a greenfield site close to Minsmere and next to Eastbridge, a hamlet of 50 people.

Our view:  The campus will exacerbate environmental impacts and place a disproportionate burden on Leiston, Eastbridge and Theberton. EDF’s plan ignores long-standing concerns expressed by residents, the County Council and our MP. Noise, air and light pollution, the increase in local traffic, and the potential for anti-social behaviour will affect our health and wellbeing.

  • We urge EDF to change its accommodation strategy and move or split the campus. EDF has ignored studies commissioned by Suffolk County Council into dispersed sites in more urban settings with existing infrastructure. At Hinkley, EDF has split sites, with 500 workers onsite and 1,000 in Bridgwater, where the site is laid out in preparation for new housing afterwards. Why can’t this be done in Suffolk?

Transport:  EDF has put forward two transport strategies:

  • A so-called ‘Rail-led Strategy’ would still put up to 900 lorries a day as well as Park & Ride buses on the B1122, a winding country road through Yoxford and Middleton Moor, while by-passing Theberton. A proposed roundabout at the junction with the A12 at Yoxford would not be able to cope. EDF is unsure ‘rail-led’ is feasible.
  • EDF’s alternative ‘Road-led Strategy’ includes a Link Road from the A12, carrying up to 1,500 HGVs a day, close to all 3 villages, potentially operating 24/7.
  • Up to 600 trucks a day and several hundred cars would use the current B1122 for the ‘early years’ of construction before new roads and Park & Rides are ready.

Our view:  Neither option is satisfactory. A token Theberton by-pass still places an unfair burden of congestion, noise, pollution, vibration damage and accidents on local communities and visitors. The Link Road runs too close to many homes, needs substantial embankments and cuttings, and breaks up communities.

  • Sizewell C&D needs a Relief Road with less impact on communities, similar to ‘D2’. This was proposed for Sizewell B and suggested by our MP and both Councils. It must be built before the main construction starts. It would provide a positive economic legacy for Leiston and the area, by providing a better link to the A12 and reducing congestion in Saxmundham.

Tourism:  We believe the £250m local tourism industry will be hit hard. Noise, dust, loss of access and visual impacts will deter visitors to Minsmere, Dunwich, Thorpeness and Aldeburgh.

Benefits?  The position of the joint County and District Councils at Stage 2 was that they were not convinced the benefits of Sizewell C&D outweighed the impacts. EDF plans to slash 20% off the cost of the build, partly by using the Hinkley supply chain, so reducing the economic and employment benefits for the local area.

East Suffolk as England’s ‘Energy Gateway’:  We are facing an accumulation of energy projects that threaten to industrialise and overwhelm the area. We need more support and oversight by central government to properly evaluate and reduce the cumulative impacts on us and on our precious environment.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • Don’t respond to EDF’s Consultations until you have seen the whole story! We will publish more detailed recommendations after our Public meeting (see below).
  • Come to our Public Meeting on Saturday 23 February 2019, 10am, St Peter’s Church, Theberton. We strongly encourage you to attend this meeting prior to responding to the consultation if at all possible.
  • Deadline for Stage 3 Consultations responses is 29 March. If you cannot attend our Public Meeting, check www.teags.org after 23 February for our detailed recommendations. When you are ready to respond, you can send your questionnaire and other comments to EDF, Freepost SZC Consultation, by email to sizewell@edfeconsultation.info, or register and respond online at www.sizewell.edfenergyconsultation.info
  • Copy your response or any other correspondence with EDF to:
    • The Planning Inspectorate [PINS], Temple Quay House, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN
    • Dr Therese Coffey MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
    • Cllr Matthew Hicks, Leader, Suffolk County Council, Endeavour House, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich IP1 2BX.  John.Pitchford@suffolk.gov.uk
    • Cllr Geoff Holdcroft, Suffolk Coastal District Council, East Suffolk House, Station Road, Melton, Woodbridge IP12 1RT. sizewellc@eastsuffolk.gov.uk
  • Watch and share our videoswww.facebook.com/teags.org – and follow us.
  • Donate: Donations gratefully received, via our website www.teags.org/donate or by cheque to Old Store, Eastbridge IP16 4SJ. We will share any donations given in response to the exhibitions between the three organisations below.
  • Stay In Touch: Use our contacts below, or join TEAGS’ email list via www.teags.org/join to receive regular updates.

CONTACTS

TEAGS: info@teags.org: Paul Collins 01728 635097 or Alison Downes 07711 843884, www.facebook.com/teags.org, @TEAGonSizewell

B1122 Action Group: Charles Macdowell c.n.macdowell@gmail.com, 01728 648217, www.facebook.com/B1122relief

MLSG: Paul Collins (as TEAGS, above) paul.f.collins1@gmail.com, www.facebook.com/MinsmereLevels

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell

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