As Stage 4 consultation for Sizewell C continues, Katy McGuinness, environment lead for the project gives an update on how the team is working with local environmental groups.
“Since Stage 3 consultation, which closed earlier this year, we have held regular workshops involving the Environment Agency, Natural England, the local planning authorities, the RSPB and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, to look closely at how to minimise the impact of building Sizewell C on the local environment.
“We are incredibly mindful of the sensitive environment we are working in and want to ensure we fully understand local issues.
“Our technical workshops are giving us room to talk through the development and refinement of our proposals and a wide range of issues from managing groundwater levels during construction, to how we can light the site sensitively and create off site compensatory habitats to ensure protected bird species such as the Marsh Harrier have enough foraging land.
“Through the workshops we have identified an area to the north east of the development site that may be suitable to create an environment for Marsh Harrier foraging. This is important as it could be used if the birds do not access the Sizewell Marshes SSSI during the construction of Sizewell C. Some of this land has already been taken out of agricultural use as the first step in establishing a suitable foraging area. This complements our work at Aldhurst Farm where we have created a wildlife habitat spanning 67 hectare site and includes 6 hectares of wet reed habitat and extensive reedbeds and interconnecting ditch habitat and heathland which is already yielding good results.”
Workshops have covered:
- Landscape and visual impacts
- Impacts on rights of way resources and the recreational strategy.
- Coastal processes and the marine environment
- Groundwater modelling and impacts on and ground water levels and quality
- Flood risk
- Ecological surveys and assessments
- Noise and air quality impact assessments