Sizewell C progress and news of more consultation to come
Sizewell C Community Forum members were given an update on the project, including the latest activity on various development sites and the shape of things to come, during a meeting held at Sizewell Sports & Social Club last night (27/3).
The Sizewell C project team announced that a new round of consultation would be factored into their plans, in response to feedback from Stage One when the initial proposals were shared with the public.
Stage 2 consultation will focus on providing the public with more detail on the emerging proposals for Sizewell C. By providing more information on transport, preliminary environmental information and the various associated development sites, EDF Energy hopes the community will be able to provide more feedback and help shape its final proposals.
Three rounds of consultation are now being proposed, instead of the planned two stage process, to ensure people have the chance to have their say on the emerging plans for what could be the largest infrastructure project to take place in the UK’s eastern region. The details for the consultation strategy will be formally submitted to the local authorities in a ‘Statement of Community Consultation’ in the coming weeks.
Stage Two will be held this year as planned but a third stage of consultation will take place in 2015 when the final detailed proposals are shared with people ahead of being submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.
Stephen Walls, Head of the Sizewell C project said:” We want people to get involved in the project and to understand that they can make a difference to the plans. This additional round of consultation is being brought in as a direct response to feedback we had from our first stage of consultation.
“It was good to have the opportunity to talk through the progress made with various project activities, such as the ground investigative works we are undertaking on the potential rail routes and upcoming ecology surveys. This important work will help inform our plans and the spade work we are putting in now will lead to further meaningful consultation in the coming months.”
The community forum heard about –
Ground investigative work – The first phase of boreholes were carried out to the east of the B1122 and we are now working in the area to the west of Leiston along the possible ‘green and blue’ rail routes. This work will enable us to look at the geology and the ground water conditions.
Sea investigative work - At the end of 2013 we deployed a series of seabed-mounted wave and current recorders in order to provide information that will inform the flood risk assessment work. We were able to gather data around the storm surge event which affected the east coast on 5 December 2013.
Separate data we have already gathered at sea is currently being used in numerical modelling work that will help determine the location of the cooling water outfall structure for Sizewell C.
We have begun to collect data from the radar that was established last year on Sizewell A, the highest point in the vicinity. The information that the radar provides will be used in various ongoing studies, including those on coastal processes and the design of the jetty.
Environmental studies - On the AONB, wintering bird surveys will finish in March, and reptile mitigation works are being carried over the coming weeks. Project ecologists are preparing for the surveys which are due to start this summer which will include examining the bat and breeding bird populations. Vegetation surveys will also help identify unusual flora and fauna on the site.
Amendments to the Southern Park & Ride Site and Visitor Centre plans – We indicated during our stage one consultation that our preferred option for the southern park and ride site at Wickham Market would be subject to an archaeological survey. We would like to widen our search of the land around this area.
Visitor Centre – We would like to introduce a new site for consideration. The new proposed site is in the northern area of Coronation Wood. The benefit of this site is that it could be a permanent site that could be used during the construction phase and when the station is operational. It is also close to Sizewell B and the Sizewell C site.
Environmental Impact Assessment Scoping Request – EDF Energy has elected to apply for an environmental scoping request from the Planning Inspectorate. The request will enable us to ensure we provide the Planning Inspectorate with the right information when we formally submit the planning application. The Planning Inspectorate will consult the local councils and environmental organisations to inform their response to EDF Energy.