23 Dec 14

EDF Energy submits planning application for new wildlife habitat in Leiston

EDF Energy has submitted a planning application for a major new Habitat Creation scheme in Leiston.

The Company is proposing to convert up to 67 hectares of arable land, currently part of Aldhurst Farm, into wildlife habitat.

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 would be lowered to create the conditions needed for wetland habitat. The excavated soil, which would include peat, would be spread across the surrounding fields to reduce the fertility of the soils and create conditions suitable for the establishment of a mosaic of acidic grassland and heathland over the rest of the site.

The existing ditches within the site would be retained with some minor realignment in places.

The proposed habitats would benefit a variety of wildlife including water voles, otters, eels, amphibians, reptiles and birds, as well as rare plants.

EDF Energy is proposing to create the wildlife habitat to help compensate for some limited potential land-take from Sizewell Marshes SSSI should the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station be developed. The Stage 1 public consultation on initial proposals and options for Sizewell C ended in February 2013 and a further stage of consultation is intended to take place in 2015.

The designated features that would need to be compensated for include reed bed and lowland ditch habitat. The creation of this new wetland habitat is being progressed separately and in advance of Sizewell C in order to establish it prior to any potential land-take from the SSSI. The habitat would be created and managed by EDF Energy even if the Sizewell C proposals are not granted development consent.

Once the new habitat has been established, EDF Energy intends to open up certain areas of the site for quiet public recreation, in a manner that would not compromise biodiversity. Proposals to do this will be brought forward in due course.

The planning application follows a period of informal consultation with the public that ran from 17 November to 28 November. Anyone who would like to find out more about the proposals can see them on display at the Sizewell C information office in Leiston on weekdays or call 0800 1976102 or email sizewell@edfconsultation.info but it should be noted that Suffolk Coastal District Council will formally consult on the application once it has been registered by the planning department.

For more information contact:

Sue Fletcher
Senior Media Manager (Generation)
01452 653267
07736 727964

EDF Energy in the East of England

In the East of England EDF Energy operates Sizewell B power station which employs 575 staff and 250 contracting partners. EDF Energy has completed Stage One consultation for Sizewell C which would be capable of supplying power to some 5 million homes and would employ 900 staff when operational.
As well as generating enough power to serve some 2.5million homes the company also provides gas and electricity to 270,000 customers in this region with over half of those opting for one of the company’s Blue+ products which are backed by low-carbon generation. We make sure we buy enough electricity generated from a low-carbon nuclear source to match every unit of electricity we estimate our Blue customers use. EDF Energy is proud to power up some of the largest companies in the UK, including sites for Tesco Stores Limited, Ministry of Defence, Morrisons and Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust right here in the East of England. Following a landmark agreement with Network Rail the company also provides nuclear-backed Blue energy to power up the UKs electric rail network, covering most of the south east of England and the main lines from London to Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the Merseyrail network around Liverpool and the Glasgow suburban network.