Sizewell C and the environment
IMAGE: Aldhurst Farm heathland and wetland habitat
Sizewell C will be built and operated with sensitivity and respect to the local environment. Our proposals aim to leave a positive legacy which will include a net gain in land for wildlife. Our planning application assesses issues such as noise, air quality, visual impacts and traffic, and sets out in detail how we will avoid, reduce or manage potential effects on local communities and wildlife.
The electricity generated by Sizewell C is needed for us to maintain our quality of life while tackling climate change. Nuclear power is a low carbon technology. Sizewell C’s lifetime emissions, from the start of construction through to decommissioning, are broadly the same as other low carbon power sources like wind. By generating electricity from Sizewell C rather than by burning fossil fuels, we will prevent nine million tonnes of carbon being emitted into the atmosphere every year. This is important to Britain meeting its ambition to reduce carbon emissions to ‘Net Zero’ by 2050. We are very mindful of the sensitive local environment we are working in to build Sizewell C.
Sizewell and RSPB Minsmere
The RSPB has raised concerns about how wildlife at the reserve, including rare birds such as bitterns, avocets, marsh harriers and other species, could be affected by noise pollution, artificial light, fluctuating water levels and coastal erosion. Our modelling of potential coastal scenarios and the impacts of Sizewell C shows no impact on the coast along the Minsmere frontage. The Environmental Statement published with the application for development consent provides more detail.
EDF Energy has created new heathland and wetland habitat called Aldhurst Farm from 67 hectares of low grade agricultural land. The new habitat will benefit a variety of wildlife including water voles, otters, eels, amphibians, reptiles and birds, as well as rare plants. This new wildlife habitat has been designed to compensate for some limited change to the Sizewell Marshes SSSI that might be needed should the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station be developed.
The site extends from Abbey Road in Leiston to Lover’s Lane, on the edge of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Sizewell Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Approximately 6ha of low-lying land in the valley has been lowered to create the conditions needed for wetland habitat. The excavated soil, including peat, has been spread across the surrounding fields to reduce the fertility of the soils and create conditions suitable for a mosaic of acidic grassland and heathland over the rest of the site. The existing ditches within the site have been retained with some minor realignment in places.
Aldhurst Farm heathland and wetland habitat