Suffolk residents pack out Theberton church to have their say on Sizewell C

PUBLISHED: 15:57 23 February 2019

Theberton church was full for the meeting called to discuss Sizewell C plans. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Theberton church was full for the meeting called to discuss Sizewell C plans. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Worried residents from across east Suffolk voiced their dismay about plans for Sizewell C at a public meeting near the proposed site on Saturday morning.

Hundreds of people attend nuclear plant public consultation in Theberton. The anti-Sizewell campaigners staged a big public meeting in St Peter’s Church, in Theberton

Theberton church, near Leiston, was packed out for a meeting to allow residents to voice their concerns about the proposed project.

This would see a new low-carbon twin reactor nuclear power station next to existing stations Sizewell A and B, the former having been shut down for decommissioning in 2006.

The meeting was chaired by broadcaster and Theberton resident Bill Turnbull who said it was important to give local people the chance to express their concerns about the proposals.

Residents have long been concerned that the plan will have long-lasting effects on the areas environment and tourist industry, while other issues such as roads, traffic and an anti-nuclear attitude were also voiced in the meeting organised by Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS).

Bill Turnbull chaired the meeting at Theberton Church. Picture: PAUL GEATERBill Turnbull chaired the meeting at Theberton Church. Picture: PAUL GEATER

TEAGS representative Charles McDowell said that “The link road they have proposed will cut parishes in two, breaks up fields and makes them inviable for farming.

“It makes you wonder if they [EDF] are out for revenge against the people of Theberton.”

The power station’s proximity to nationally renowned nature reserve, RSPB Minsmere ruffled feathers with residents concerned for the safety of the birds, and in turn the effect a downturn would have on the local tourism economy, worth £250 million.

Adam Rowlands, the RSPB’s Suffolk area manager, said: “In terms of flora and fauna in the area, this is a matter of international importance.”

Another resident said that the plans could see a ‘decimated natural environment’ left for his children and grandchildren.

County councillor Guy McGregor, who was responsible for the council’s previous response to the plan, said that although it would see opportunities for employment, the problems outweighed the benefits, highlighting the ‘constant stream’ of heavy goods vehicles that would create traffic and pollution.

EDF’s plans could see up to 1,500 HGVs on the county’s roads, in addition to the extra traffic that would be created by the construction of a new build town or campus which would house 2,400 workers at Eastbridge.

Richard Smith – who is now the county councillor leading negotiations with EDF – praised the efforts of TEAGS and residents, saying: “There is no better way for a community to voice its concerns like how you have. It sends a huge message to EDF.”

Mr Smith did warn however that the authority has ‘no direct power’, but urged residents to continue their campaign.