East Suffolk Lib Dems submit Sizewell C response to Planning Inspectorate
East Suffolk Lib Dems response to Planning Inspectorate. September 2020
The Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Councillor Group on Suffolk County Council have made their position abundantly clear that they consider the plans for Sizewell C to be economically unviable and damaging to the environment. Local East Suffolk District Council, however said in their 90 page submission that they will maintain a "neutral" stance on the proposed Sizewell C development.
Suffolk County Council said that they cannot support the current proposals and have now responded to the planning Inspectorate as follows:
"Whilst the Council has always supported a new nuclear power station at Sizewell in principle, it cannot support the current proposals as submitted by the applicant in its Development Consent Order (DCO) application.
The Council does not consider the DCO proposals sufficiently avoid, minimise, mitigate, or compensate for the impacts it will have on the communities and environment of Suffolk. To be acceptable and to make the development work for Suffolk, it is essential that these impacts are minimised, by following the mitigation hierarchy (avoid - minimise - mitigate - compensate), prioritising sustainable transport modes and by addressing the sensitivity of its location and any community impacts arising.
The deadline for responses to the Planning Inspectorate was yesterday (September 30th) and East Suffolk Lib Dems, having taken onboard the views of local party members at the different stages of the public consultation submitted the following summary of their concerns to the Planning Inspectorate:
The local East Suffolk Party say:
1. We are greatly concerned that the construction of a new power station at Sizewell:
- will cause significant environmental, economic and social damage to the East Suffolk area and consequently to the wellbeing and livelihoods of its residents. Specifically, the construction:
- will be the cause of a very significant increase of HGV, bus, LGV and car traffic on single carriageway A and B roads in the East Suffolk area to the detriment of communities and residents - the traffic will cause pollution, congestion and present a very real threat to road safety; these traffic impacts will also ripple across the main roads in the region. The Link road and the 2-village bypass will not alleviate the congestion, pollution and road safety concerns.
- proposes only limited use of rail and sea transport; but even so, the bulk of the rail transport will be at night and so cause disturbance for residents notably in Woodbridge, Melton, Saxmundham and Leiston
- will cause extensive noisy, dusty and unsightly development in an area where a large part of the economy is dependent on tourism attracted by the beautiful coastal environment which includes the Minsmere RSPB nature reserve, Sites of Scientific Interest and which is a designated Area of Natural Beauty
- will take place on an eroding coastline which is threatened by sea-level rises
- will bring thousands of workers to an area which already experiences pressures on housing, blue-light services, health services and recreational facilities; it plans to accommodate 2,400 of them in a campus completely out of keeping, in size and form with the local area.
- will not generate the stated local economic benefits as most of the workers are expected to be employed from outside of the area; and the employment and income generated will not compensate for the loss of tourism as a result of the construction. Moreover, EDF has reduced its planned local apprenticeship and worker opportunities
- will not leave legacy benefits: it will not leave significant rail network improvements, will not leave any legacy affordable housing, will not leave improved car parking at Darsham, and possibly will not leave the Link road.
We are greatly concerned that the power station itself will prove to be a very costly white elephant:
- the agreed price/KWhr is significantly more expensive that the current cost of renewable power generation and by the time the power station is completed the price difference will greater still
- the national debate on energy has also moved on significantly since the project was first announced; given renewable electricity generation trends it is questionable whether there will be a need for the comparatively very expensive electricity that Sizewell C is planned to eventually generate.
More broadly we are concerned that:
- thorough scrutiny of the impacts has proved difficult throughout EDF's consultations due to a lack of detailed information; this remains the case.
- the proposed construction is in parallel to a series of other energy projects which require significant infrastructure in the area (Scottish Power's EA1N & EA2). The planning process must consider the detail and implications of each of the projects together to understand the cumulative impact that this extensive construction will have on the area.
Meanwhile new Lib Dem Leader Ed Davey, speaking during the Party's recent four day virtual Conference said: building a new nuclear power station at Sizewell is too expensive and argued that the government should invest more in renewable energy to help boost the economy. He said "The economic case for nuclear power is not there any more".