Sizewell C moves ahead with public consultation
The latest round of public consultation for a proposed new nuclear power station in Suffolk starts today.
Stage 3 consultation for Sizewell C will run for 12 weeks from 4 January to 29 March 2019 and will include 14 exhibitions across East Suffolk. The Sizewell C project team will be on hand to answer questions from local communities at the exhibitions. EDF Energy has also provided funding to Planning Aid England to provide bespoke, independent and free guidance and advice to local parish and town councils during the consultation.
Significant changes from Stage 2 proposals have been made to mitigate issues raised, such as traffic on the B1122 and the workers accommodation campus.
Jim Crawford Sizewell C project development director said: “We want to build more than a power station, we can see from Hinkley Point C that nuclear new build will be a force for good and deliver social, environmental and economic benefits in Suffolk and across the East of England. We encourage people to come along to one of our exhibitions or to pick up a copy of the consultation document at their local library or our office in Leiston. It is important to us that people share their views on the latest proposals for Sizewell C and help shape the plans.”
Nuclear new build projects bring major economic benefit locally, regionally and throughout the UK. The South West is realising the benefits with £464m of contracts awarded to local companies working on Hinkley Point C. Companies in the East of England are also benefitting from EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C project – Ovivo in Colchester have a £27m contract to produce the water filtration system and they also worked on the construction of Sizewell B and Poundfield in Bury St Edmunds, specialists in pre-cast concrete products are providing storage for materials and aggregates for the groundworks being carried out on the site.
Changes to the workers Accommodation Campus since stage 2 include:
• The development site option remains our preferred location for the necessary single-site accommodation campus we presented at Stage 1.
• Our proposed temporary worker accommodation - both the campus and caravan site - would reduce the effect of these workers on private rented sector and tourist accommodation.
• We have reduced the height of the building to between three and four stories (reduced from five)
• We are also proposing the use of 400 caravan spaces at LEEIE in the early years of construction before the campus is established, and retained throughout construction.
• We are also proposing to establish a Housing Fund to enable local authorities to take early measures to mitigate against potential impacts of Sizewell C on the local housing market.
• Feedback also indicated that sensitive landscaping during operation and the return of the land to its original use would be necessary to make this temporary development acceptable.
• Following feedback from earlier consultation the campus would be fenced and there would be no northern access to the site which, along with landscaping, would help screen the campus from Eastbridge.
• The maximum campus size is 2,400 during peak construction. At Stage 1 we indicated up to 3000 bedspaces covering 22.1Ha and at Stage 2 the options included five storeys as a maximum height. The proposal we are presenting at Stage 3 covers 14.6Ha all to the East of Eastbridge Road, with a maximum height of four storeys and sports facilities located in Leiston for community benefit and legacy.
• We are proposing this single campus location on the basis of a number of reasons, key of which are:
o A campus in this location will contain traffic, particularly during shift changes. This will reduce the impact of construction on local roads.
o A single site campus has the clear advantage of preventing the dispersal of the workforce into scattered sites, which would mean an increase in traffic and impacts on a wider area.
o Managing the non-home based workforce would be much more efficient and manageable.
o A campus is vital in order to prevent distortions in the local private rented sector and the tourism industry.
o Locating the campus close to site will prevent workers from looking to move into the private rented sector close to the main development site. This would have traffic implications and greater local impacts.
• We are now consulting on two alternative strategies to support freight movement
- Rail-led – direct access to the main site for five trains a day using the Green rail route and a road bypass of Theberton OR
- Road-led – a new Sizewell link road from the A12 to the B1122 and a freight management facility to the east of Ipswich, along with two train a day to Sizewell Halt or a new rail siding throughout construction.
• Saxmundham to Leiston Branch line upgrade – upgrades to nine level crossings between the Saxmundham junction and Sizewell Halt under both the rail and road led strategies
• Northern Park and Ride – at Darsham a new entrance to the site and additional car parking spaces but no change to the size of the proposed site and some revised landscaping
• Southern Park and Ride – At Hacheston the ‘Wickham Market’ site includes more parking spaces although the size of the site remains the same. Additionally, two options to mitigate potential delays on the B1078 between Border Cot Lane and River Deben Bridge.
• We are no longer proposing to build a jetty due to the impact on the marine environment and impact on construction time. We are still proposing a beach landing facility during construction and operation.
• Proposed changes to our road strategy from Stage 2 include:
1. A Two Village Bypass of Stratford St Andrew and Farnham
2. Theberton Bypass (Rail-led strategy)
3. Sizewell Link Road (Road-led strategy)
4. A12/B1122 Yoxford – new roundabout junction
5. Wickham Market northern diversion route OR removal or on-street parking
6. Other minor junction improvements
• We are now proposing a two village bypass on the A12 of both Farnham and Stratford St Andrew.
• We are now proposing a bypass at Theberton on the B1122 to reduce the impact of construction traffic on the village. In the rail-led strategy the Theberton bypass would run from a point between Middleton Moor and Theberton and end on the east of Theberton.
• Under the road-led strategy the bypass would be known at the Sizewell Link road and would incorporate the route of the Theberton bypass but extend further to also bypass Middleton Moor, joining the A12 south of Yoxford.
• We work closely with the local authorities on our transport strategy and are aware of their separate proposal for a four villages bypass for the area. We will continue to monitor progress to understand whether such a project, should it come forward, could be delivered within Sizewell C project timelines.
Following Stage 3 we will consider all responses and use them – along with our technical and environmental assessments, continuing engagement with statutory authorities and others, and lessons from Hinkley Point C – to further inform the development of our plans.
We will then prepare and submit our application for development consent for Sizewell C to the Planning Inspectorate.
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 to grant consent.