Fears Sizewell residents won't have say

URGENT reassurances were being sought today amid fears that people living closest to the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant will not have a say in whether the project goes ahead.

By Richard Cornwell

URGENT reassurances were being sought today amid fears that people living closest to the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power plant will not have a say in whether the project goes ahead.

Reports from Whitehall suggest government intends to radically shorten the time to consult and debate on a new power station on the Suffolk coast and potentially remove the chance for a locally-made decision.

Suffolk Coastal councillors believe there are major issues which need to be looked at - but fears it will be taken out of their hands.

Deputy leader Andy Smith said: “This council accepts that it is right that decisions are made nationally about the future of nuclear power.

“However, we strongly believe that our communities should have their say - with the right to reject plans for a Sizewell C if, after detailed local consideration, that is seen to be the correct decision for this district.

Most Read

“At first sight, the document provides limited 'clout' for the local view on major infrastructure projects.

“As always we are going to have spend a lot of time cutting through the spin and studying the small print of what is being proposed in today's announcement, especially with a further one due on Wednesday about future energy policies.”

Mr Smith said a guarantee was needed that the views of local people and the council that represents them will have a real influence on the decision.

He added: “Only four years ago, the government said there would be the fullest public consultation before any decision to proceed with building of new power station. They must not ignore that commitment and rewrite the rule book to allow plans to be fast-tracked in way that would deny the chance for the local voice to be heard and acted on.”

Sizewell is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast and close to internationally-important sites for wildlife.

It is feared a new nuclear plant will have a significant impact on the landscape, with new power grids and pylons in surrounding countryside, effect coastal erosion, cause widespread disruption during construction, and create a need for new housing for workers.

Mr Smith said: “There are also major concerns about the possible storage of spent nuclear waste on the site. These are all legitimate local issues that need to be positively addressed, and need to be seen to be done locally and openly.”

Do you think Sizewell is the right place for another nuclear power station? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter