Have your say on the proposals for Sizewell C
The proposals presented here have been shaped through feedback received from two previous stages of public consultation, on-going engagement with stakeholders, and substantial technical assessments and environmental studies.
Our overarching aim for the development of Sizewell C remains to support – locally, regionally, and nationally - the creation of significant business, training and job opportunities while limiting or mitigating any adverse effects for local people and the environment. This is reflected in the proposals included in this Stage 3 consultation, where we are presenting refinements of our plans in some areas, along with a number of new options, particularly for the transport of people and freight to and from the construction site.
Consultation has played an important role in informing and developing our plans and we would encourage you to play an active part in the Stage 3 consultation as some significant choices are presented and your feedback will inform our proposals.
Our third stage of public consultation on the proposals for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell runs from 4 January to 29 March 2019. Our latest proposals have been informed by:
- feedback from our previous two stages of consultation;
- on-going engagement with local communities and stakeholders;
- further technical work and environmental studies; and
- lessons from Hinkley Point C, already under construction and on track to generate electricity from 2025.
We have developed a preferred position on some of the key elements of our proposals, while continuing to consider options in relation to other parts of our proposals. The feedback we receive plays an important part in the development of our proposals, so we encourage you to play an active role in the consultation.
- Volume 1 Development Proposals;
- Volume 2A Preliminary Environmental Information;
- Volume 2B Preliminary Environmental Information; and
- Volume 3 Preliminary Environmental Information Figures
We are consulting on our proposals for Sizewell C in line with our Statement of Community Consultation (SoCC) explaining how we proposed to consult the local community about our proposals. The SoCC was agreed with Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) and Suffolk County Council (SCC) and is available here.
Following public consultation, we will make an application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate for Sizewell C. The Planning Inspectorate will process and examine the application, including encouraging the submission of views from interested parties, before making a recommendation to the Secretary of State, who will make the final decision on whether or not to grant consent.
More information on the NSIP planning process is available here.
The Stage 3 consultation is open until 29 March 2019 and responses must be received by this date.
The power station
We plan to build and operate a new nuclear power station in Suffolk on land immediately to the north of Sizewell B power station, adjacent to an area that has had nuclear power stations operating since 1966.
Should we receive the necessary consents, we expect construction of the power station to take between 9 and 12 years.
Components of the power station
The proposed design of the Sizewell C buildings takes into account the sensitive nature of the surrounding environment while providing enough space to build and operate the power station safely and efficiently.
The permanent components of Sizewell C would be:
two UK EPRTM reactor units made up of reactor and associated buildings, plant and infrastructure, and turbine halls and electrical buildings;
fuel and waste facilities, including interim storage for radioactive waste and spent fuel;
an operational service centre (including offices), a training building, and ancillary, office and storage buildings;
a cooling water system and combined drainage outfall in the North Sea;
drainage and sewerage infrastructure;
transmission infrastructure including 400kV overhead lines and towers (pylons), a National Grid 400kV substation and associated modifications to the existing National Grid transmission lines;
backup power source and emergency response equipment store at Upper Abbey Farm;
internal roads, a causeway to cross the Sizewell Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), car parking, and a vehicle search area;
sea defence and a beach landing facility;
a helipad for infrequent use by Sizewell B and Sizewell C, replacing the existing emergency landing site at Sizewell B on the outage car park;
an access road including a new roundabout to join the B1122; and
landscaping of the areas to be restored following use during construction.
Environmental considerations – main development site
Construction of the power station would have an impact on the surrounding environment. Since Stage 2 consultation we have continued to undertake environmental surveys and identify likely impacts to help inform our proposals.
Where impacts are likely to be significant, we have embedded mitigation into our design, or are proposing separate measures to reduce them.
We have continued to undertake environmental surveys and identify likely impacts to help inform our proposals. Areas most likely to have significant effects include:
Landscape and seascape character
Noise and vibration
Footpaths and bridleways
Sizewell C site access
We are proposing to build a new, permanent, two-lane access road with a segregated route for cyclists and pedestrians to link Sizewell C to the B1122. This would be the main route to bring workers and materials onto the site during construction and the main access for Sizewell C once the power station is operational.
The new access road would need to cross the Sizewell Marshes SSSI to reach the power station platform. With a more detailed understanding of the construction process and likely environmental impacts, our proposal for the crossing is a causeway over a culvert.
This access road is a regulatory requirement, as all new nuclear power stations need to have two separate entrances. The existing Sizewell power station road would provide the secondary access and would be rarely used after approximately the first year of construction. As we develop our proposals further we will continue to seek ways to limit disruption to local residents and road users during this initial period.
Beach landing facility (operational phase)
While we no longer propose moving freight by sea due to the impact on marine ecology of building a jetty, the need for a permanent beach landing facility (BLF) during the operational phase of Sizewell C remains. The BLF would facilitate an occasional - but essential - need to transport across the shore exceptionally large loads that are too big for transportation by road. We are also proposing to use the BLF during construction.
Relocation of Sizewell B facilities
For some time, the owner of Sizewell B (a subsidiary of EDF Energy) has planned to upgrade and relocate some facilities in closer proximity to the main Sizewell B operation, allowing Sizewell C to use the land where they are currently positioned. These works are critical for the construction of Sizewell C and NGL intends to submit a separate planning application to Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) following preapplication consultation in 2019.
Construction and temporary development
Our proposals for construction and temporary development aim to avoid significant adverse environmental effects. Where this is not possible, we will embed mitigation measures in our design in a way which is environmentally responsible and sensitive to the needs of the local community.
The main development site includes:
- construction working compounds (parking, laydown areas, working areas, and related works and structures);
- an induction centre, site offices, and temporary structures, including a concrete batching plant;
- temporary rail infrastructure (for the rail-led strategy only);
- site access, construction roads, fencing, lighting, security features, landscape bunds and screening;
- temporary spoil management areas, including borrow pits and stockpiles;
- public access works including permanent and temporary closures and diversions of public rights of way;
- water management zones, utilities and services infrastructure; and
- an accommodation campus.
Existing woodland and areas identified for early tree/ hedgerow planting would help screen activities, including at the site entrance and along the northern perimeter. Differences in the height of land to the north and south of the site would also help screen construction activity from wider views. Temporary noise screening, including bunds and fencing would be used in a number of locations to reduce impacts of construction noise on adjacent areas.
A site entrance hub east of the new B1122 junction would serve as an access point for goods vehicles transporting construction materials as well as for workers and visitors to the site, ensuring safe and secure access to the site. This would operate outside the main security fence to allow more flexibility in operation and would include a site office, induction centre, canteen and access to the accommodation campus. A freight area with a checkpoint, security checking facilities and parking is also proposed.
A secondary access from Lover’s Lane would be required to connect the main development site to land east of Eastlands Industrial Estate (LEEIE), the area directly north of Sizewell Halt. This would also serve as an emergency access point in the event of an obstruction at the main development site entrance.
The workers’ accommodation campus would help mitigate potential impacts on local communities by reducing pressure on local accommodation. It offers significant benefits in reducing journeys on local roads and wider worker management.
Managing construction materials
The deep excavation needed to build Sizewell C would generate large amounts of spoil and a need for material to replace or backfill it. Following feedback from Stage 2 consultation and further technical work, we have confirmed our preference for keeping construction material on-site.
We are proposing to source construction material for use in building the power station from ‘borrow pits’ which would be backfilled with peat and clay excavated from the foundation area of the power station. We are also proposing a number of stockpile areas for storage of construction materials.
People and economy
A project of the scale and complexity of Sizewell C would bring significant economic and employment opportunities, supporting the security of the UK’s economic future as well as producing a long-term boost for the local economy through increased employment and skills provision.
Local economic benefits
Our expectation remains that the power station would put at least £100 million a year into the regional economy during peak construction and £40 million per year during its 60 years of operation. This is based on the Hinkley Point C (HPC) application for development consent, however since construction has started its forecast has been revised up to £200m per year of local economic benefits during the construction phase. We are working to understand the extent to which the supply chain in Suffolk and the East of England is likely to be able to secure a similar package of contracts to those secured locally at HPC.
While the potential benefits are substantial, we recognize that Sizewell C could also result in adverse social or economic effects, and our overarching approach is to avoid, mitigate, or manage these. Our work on the social and economic impacts of Sizewell C will be supported by separate Health Impact Assessment and Community Impact Reports, which will form part of our application for development consent.
Construction of Sizewell C would create approximately 25,000 roles on the main development site. There would also be a need for a significant workforce in non-construction roles, both directly and in the supply chain. Once operational, there would be a long-term legacy of 900 permanent jobs and a regular short-term workforce of around an additional 1,000 people during refueling and maintenance outages.
Wherever possible, we are aiming to ensure local businesses can compete for the significant number of contracts needed to build, support and operate Sizewell C. For more information or to register an interest, along with more than 1,300 companies already on the database, please visit: sizewellcsupplychain.co.uk.
We are already working with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to build and operate a supply chain database enabling local businesses to register and get ‘Fit for Nuclear’ - the industry benchmark for nuclear-ready manufacturers. We anticipate that the Chamber’s role will expand for construction, to start matching suppliers with Sizewell C requirements, communicate contract opportunities, and connect suppliers with support to meet quality and safety standards.
A Supply Chain Engagement Strategy, setting out the steps we have taken to understand and support the local supply chain and identifying potential local benefits, will form part of our application for development consent.
Education, skills and employment
We are committed to ensuring local people are able to access the jobs and benefits Sizewell C would bring. Promotion of sustainable careers in key sectors that would support the construction of Sizewell C is a fundamental part of our work. We are aiming to build on regional plans to create a skills system to meet future economic needs, raise individual achievement and aspiration, and help people into work.
We recognise that tourism is an important source of jobs and income in many areas of the local economy, in particular within the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding National Beauty (AONB). We are working with key organisations, including local authorities, Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation, Visit Suffolk and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to understand the local tourist economy and Sizewell C’s potential effects on it. We have also started identifying opportunities and mitigation measures - including a potential Tourism Fund - that could support the area’s tourist economy.
Public services and community facilities
We recognise local concerns about the impact of construction, including the size, location and activities of the workforce. To ensure high standards of behaviour from our workforce, both on-site and in the community, all Sizewell C workers would be required to sign and comply with a strict Code of Conduct, including mandatory drug and alcohol testing. Failure to comply with the Code of Conduct may result in dismissal.
Since Stage 2 consultation we have been working with the local authorities and emergency services to understand potential effects on healthcare, social care for adults and young people, the use of local services in settlements close to the site, and the potential effects on emergency response in the community. We have also established an emergency services working group - including fire and rescue, police and ambulance services - to determine the level of additional need - and potential mitigation required - that may arise as a result of Sizewell C.
The overall aim of our accommodation strategy is to strike a balance between providing temporary worker accommodation and workers using existing local accommodation, in order to minimise impacts on the community while promoting the economic benefits of workers living and spending in the area.
We anticipate having 5,600 workers on the main development site plus 500 workers at the associated development sites during peak construction. As this is a forecast, we have considered what the effects might be if the workforce numbers turned out to be higher. This is to ensure our assessments are robust in relation to transport, environmental effects, worker accommodation and impact on services.
A larger workforce would not affect the scale of the physical components of Sizewell C, although it may require additional mitigation.
Main development site campus
A single, on-site accommodation campus for 2,400 workers is a key part of our proposals. Following feedback from Stage 2 consultation and further assessments, our proposal is to locate all development to the east side of Eastbridge Road and to build the associated sports facilities remotely at a site in Leiston.
We have revised the layout of the campus to address concerns of massing and height of the buildings. We are now proposing only three-storey and four-storey (rather than up to five-storey) accommodation buildings. The three-storey buildings would be nearest to Eastbridge Road and the four-storey buildings further east.
The campus would play an important role in helping to:
reduce the number of journeys made by workers on local roads;
reduce pressure on tourist accommodation and the private rental market;
allow flexible working patterns and out of hours working that would be necessary to maintain construction productivity and progress;
allow us to manage worker behaviour and impacts on the wider community; and
bring benefits for local businesses supplying goods and services to the campus.
We are working with Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) to determine whether sports facilities could be provided on land between Leiston Leisure Centre and Alde Valley Academy, with shared access for Alde Valley Academy, the community, and construction workers.
Feedback at Stage 2 consultation included a desire for the campus sports facilities to be located in Leiston and retained for use after construction. We have considered community demand alongside workforce need to establish that the facilities of most benefit are:
a full-sized synthetic turf football pitch; and
at least two multi-use games areas.
Our proposed caravan site on land to the east of Eastlands Industrial Estate (LEEIE) would be available in the early years before the campus is established and retained throughout construction as an option for workers. The current proposal would allow around 400 pitches.Caravan accommodation
Our proposed caravan site on land to the east of Eastlands Industrial Estate (LEEIE) would be available in the early years before the campus is established and retained throughout construction as an option for workers. The current proposal would allow around 400 pitches.
Building Sizewell C would involve the daily movement of large numbers of construction workers and significant amounts of materials and equipment. In developing and designing our transport proposals, we have sought opportunities to limit the impact of construction of Sizewell C on the local highway network wherever possible. Our proposals include mitigation measures to limit potential effects on local communities and the environment.
The key elements of our strategy are to:
use either a rail-led or road-led approach to moving materials onto and off-site add;
build an on-site accommodation campus to reduce the number of workforce journeys;
provide park and ride facilities at key locations on the A12 for workers to travel by bus to the main site;
provide direct bus services from Ipswich and Lowestoft;
provide direct bus services to and from Saxmundham station;
operate working patterns that minimise workers travelling at peak times;
provide local bus services from Leiston; and
provide road improvements where necessary to mitigate the impact of construction traffic.
Movement of materials
We are proposing two alternative strategies - rail-led or road-led - for the movement of materials. We plan to use excavated materials on-site as fill or for landscaping, and a borrow pit to source and deposit material.
The rail-led strategy would provide direct access into the main site for five trains a day using a new rail line (known as the green route), and a road bypass of Theberton.
The road-led strategy would provide a new Sizewell link road from the A12 to the B1122, and a freight management facility to the east of Ipswich, along with two trains a day (to Sizewell Halt or a new rail siding) throughout construction.
Features common to both strategies, include:
- Additional B1122 mitigation;
- A beach landing facility;
- Options for use of Sizewell Halt or construction of a new rail siding;
- Use of existing rail lines;
- A bypass of Farnham and Stratford St Andrew (a two-village bypass);
- Park and ride sites at Darsham and Wickham Market;
- Highway improvements; and
- HGV management activities.
For details and to learn about options within our proposals for the movement of materials, please read the Stage 3 Consultation Summary Document.
Additional B1122 mitigation: we are proposing a bypass to reduce the impact of peak construction traffic on the B1122 through Theberton. Under the rail-led strategy, the Theberton bypass would run from a point between Middleton Moor and Theberton, and end on the B1122 east of Theberton. Under the road-led strategy, the bypass would be known as the Sizewell link road. It would incorporate the route of the Theberton bypass and extend further to also bypass Middleton Moor, joining the A12 south of Yoxford.
Beach landing facility: a permanent beach landing facility (BLF) is needed for handling abnormally large deliveries during the operational phase of the power station. Although not suitable for movements of bulk aggregates, the BLF would also be used throughout the construction phase to remove the need for heavy and oversized loads to be taken on the road network. It would be designed for use by barges, loaded with deliveries elsewhere, towed to the Suffolk Coast, and moored in position before the barge is beached. The abnormally large deliveries would be transported to site along an access road incorporated into the northern mound.
Sizewell Halt or new rail siding: at Stage 2 we proposed use of the existing terminal known as Sizewell Halt and this option remains, but construction of a new rail siding on the same Saxmundham - Leiston branch line is now proposed as an alternative.
Rail proposals: both the rail and road led strategies would require use of existing rail lines to deliver materials in the early years of construction. For the road-led strategy, such use would continue throughout the construction period.
Upgrades would be required to nine level crossings on the Saxmundham - Leiston branch line (between the Saxmundham junction and Sizewell Halt) under both the rail-led and road-led strategies. The rail-led strategy would include significant improvements to the East Suffolk line, including upgrades of up to 33 and closure or diversion of 12 level crossings. Some improvements to this line may also be required for the road-led strategy, subject to further assessment with Network Rail.
Other proposals: other proposals consistent with both rail-led and road-led strategies include the A12 two-village bypass of Farnham and Stratford St Andrew, park and ride sites at Darsham and Wickham Market, and other highway improvements.
Both strategies would also be supported by a number of other activities to manage heavy goods vehicles (HGV) deliveries and movements to and from the main development site, including:
an electronic web-based Delivery Management System (DMS) to allocate HGV delivery slots and ensure compliance with agreed controls and limits. It would also allow rapid electronic communication with suppliers should deliveries need to be delayed or rescheduled due to issues on the highway network.
use of mandatory routes for Sizewell C HGV construction traffic, enforced with the use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras; and
temporary holding or controlled release of HGVs from the Sizewell C site.
Movement of people
Reducing the amount of additional traffic generated by the movement of construction workforce remains a key part of our transport plans. In addition to the accommodation campus, our proposals to support the movement of people remain as previously presented at Stage 2 and include:
- two temporary park and ride facilities on the A12 to intercept traffic coming from the north and south;
- direct bus services operating from Leiston (in response to feedback from Stage 2 and further technical work), Ipswich and Lowestoft; and
- bus pick-up services from Saxmundham station for workers using rail services on the East Suffolk line.
Our proposed locations for the park and ride facilities are Darsham in the north and Wickham Market in the south. When the construction phase is at its peak, the park and ride sites would operate seven days a week, with the movement of buses responding to the shift patterns of workers coming to and from the main development site. When no longer needed, the buildings and associated infrastructure would be removed, and the area returned to agricultural use. Our traffic modelling now shows a need for more car parking spaces at each site than were previously proposed, however the size of the sites remains the same.
Both the northern and southern park and ride sites would have:
parking for around 1,250 cars (40 of which would be accessible spaces and 10 would be pick-up only spaces), 10 minibuses/buses/vans, 80 motorcycles, and around 20 bicycles;
a secure bus terminus and parking, shelters, a welfare building (comprising toilets, bus drivers’ rest room, security and administration offices), a security building and security booth, with buildings likely to be single storey;
sensitive lighting that will seek to minimise the potential impact of light pollution;
on-site soil storage to support site restoration when the facility is no longer needed.
Additional proposals for the northern park and ride include:
a new roundabout on the A12 situated to the north of the existing Willow Marsh Lane junction, allowing access from the north; and
a 20m minimum buffer and sustainable drainage infrastructure to separate the parking area from Little Nursery woodland and nearby properties.
Additional proposals for the southern park and ride include:
a postal consolidation facility;
a Traffic Incident Management Area to enable HGVs to be held in the event of an emergency;
reducing two lanes to one on the A12 northeast of Wickham Market before the northbound slip road joins the A12 (to avoid the A12 reducing from three lanes of traffic to one);
requesting that Suffolk County Council reduces the speed limit from 60mph to 30mph on the B1078 that crosses the A12 northeast of Wickham Market;
security fencing at the perimeter of the site;
a layout designed to maximise use of existing screening provided by woodland, and additional hedgerow planting and screening mounds;
external areas including roadways, footways, landscaping, surface water management areas and drainage infrastructure.
There are also two options proposed to mitigate potential delays on the B1078 between Border Cot Lane and the River Deben bridge that may occur as a result of the southern park and ride.
While our proposals have been designed to limit potential impacts on the local road network, we recognise that the A12 and B1122 are particularly likely to be affected by construction traffic. To limit adverse effects and address potential capacity and safety issues, we are proposing a number of mitigation measures separate to those proposed under the rail-led or road-led strategies.
A12 - two village bypass: we recognise that Sizewell C traffic would exacerbate an existing problem on the A12 at the Farnham bend and are proposing mitigation to significantly reduce the traffic passing through the narrow bend. Following feedback at Stage 2 consultation, discussions with Suffolk County Council, and further technical work, our proposal is a bypass of Farnham and Stratford St Andrew (a two-village bypass), with key design changes aimed at reducing environmental impacts.
A12/B1122 junction: the B1122 would experience a significant increase in traffic as a result of Sizewell C. Following feedback at Stage 2 consultation and further technical work, our proposal to improve the junction of the B1122 with the A12 at Yoxford is a roundabout. It would replace the existing priority junction and is considered to be safer and more efficient than signalising the existing A12/B1122 junction.
Junction improvements: we are proposing road improvements - such as changes to signage and road markings, vegetation maintenance, speed limit changes, and other developments - at a number of key junctions to improve safety.
A140/B1078 west of Coddenham: changes to signage and road markings as well as vegetation maintenance to improve visibility and safety at the junction;
B1078/B1079 east of Easton and Otley College: changes to signage and road markings as well as vegetation maintenance to improve visibility and safety at the junction;
A12/B1119 at Saxmundham: changes to signage and road markings, and vegetation maintenance to improvevisibility and safety at the junction;
A1094/B1069 south of Knodishall: changes to signage and road markings, and vegetation maintenance to improve visibility and safety at the junction. We would also ask Suffolk County Council to promote a reduction in the speed limit at the junction to 40mph to assist vehicles turning right out of the B1069 to find suitable gaps in the A1094 traffic and safely complete the manoeuvre;
A12/A1094 Friday Street, north of Farnham: our proposed two village bypass of Stratford St Andrew and Farnham (see page 35) includes a roundabout at this junction. We propose to build and open the roundabout before completion of the bypass to improve safety and mitigate the impact of construction traffic in the early years; and
A12/A144 south of Bramfield: adding a central reservation island and waiting area to increase junction capacity.
The Stage 3 public exhibitions have now ended – thank you to everyone who came to one of our events. We have received huge amounts of feedback, with nearly 4,000 visitors across 14 different locations. If you or your parish council, community group or business would like to discuss our proposals the consultation runs until 29 March 2019, so please do not hesitate to contact us.
Stage 3 Consultation Document
We encourage you to respond to Stage 3 consultation in one of the following ways:
Post your written responses to FREEPOST SZC Consultation
Call freephone 0800 197 6102 during normal office hours
Copies of all the consultation documents are available in hard copy and on USB memory sticks at the exhibitions and at the Sizewell C Information Office. They will also be available to view during normal office hours, in the offices of Suffolk County, Suffolk Costal District, Waveney District and Ipswich Borough Councils and at a number of local public libraries.
If you require the consultation information in a different format for accessibility reasons, please call (0800 197 6102) or email (email@example.com).
You can contact the Sizewell C project team by any of the following methods:
Call us on FREEPHONE 0800 197 6102 (Open 9.30am - 5.00pm on weekdays and 9am - 12pm on Staurdays)
Write to us at FREEPOST SZC CONSULTATION (no stamp or further address required).
Visit us at the Sizewell C Information Office, 48-50 High Street, Leiston IP16 4EW.
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For media enquiries, email email@example.com.