EDF told to ‘do something about Suffolk’s concerns’ over Sizewell C
PUBLISHED: 18:40 22 September 2020 | UPDATED: 18:40 22 September 2020
County council chiefs have called on EDF Energy to listen to communities and “do something about Suffolk’s very reasonable concerns” over Sizewell C.
Suffolk County Council’s cabinet gave a forthright assessment of the firm’s current proposals for a new nuclear power station on the county’s coast.
It confirmed its formal response was to support the principle of the development but stressed it could not back the plans in their current guise.
MORE: East Suffolk ‘neutral’ over Sizewell C proposals
Among the chief concerns were the impact on fish habitats, bird species and other wildlife, as well as potential detriment to the tourism business, increased freight on the already-struggling A12, building of pylons and a lack of plans for sea or rail freight movements to ease road congestion.
In a punchy address to cabinet colleagues, Conservative cabinet member for environment and public protection, Richard Rout, addressed EDF directly.
“Rather than criticising or attempting to put pressure on this council’s position, you should focus on doing something about Suffolk’s very reasonable concerns,” he said.
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Mr Rout said the current plans were “far from good enough” and added: “The county council has always, and continues to, support Sizewell C in principle and the report in front of us is clear that we recognise the important contribution that Sizewell C will make to the national energy strategy and the local and national economy.
“The issue is not a lack of in-principle support from Suffolk County Council, this simply isn’t the case, but the problem is that EDF has not been listening to Suffolk and its communities, and in its proposals simply does not appropriately and sensitively address the impacts on our communities and the environment.
“We must not give EDF a blank cheque in delivering their development in a way that does unnecessary harm to our county.”
Mr Rout said efforts in mitigating concerns by EDF did not go far enough, but did acknowledge the benefits it would bring – including 1,500 apprenticeship roles, additional jobs and the economic boost in East Suffolk.
MORE: Suffolk County Council says it cannot support Sizewell C plans in current form
Councillor Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw, leader of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group, said: “We are very pleased that Suffolk County Council have taken a more robust view than East Suffolk, and we also support the view that EDF have not mitigated the impact of Sizewell C.”
The cabinet unanimously agreed its response.
It followed East Suffolk’s cabinet meeting on Monday night where members adopted a “neutral” response neither supporting or objecting to the proposals as they are now.
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