Contacts: Su and Jon Swallow: 01728 830981, Gordon McInnes: 01728 635888 or email email@example.com
9 October 2014
Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) expresses support for communities adjacent to the site of Hinkley Point C nuclear new build in Somerset
TEAGS fears that EDF’s failure to adequately address local concerns at Hinkley will be repeated in east Suffolk.
[SUFFOLK] Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) today expressed support for local Somerset residents, as the European Commission decided that revised UK plans to subsidise the construction and operation of a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset were in line with EU state aid rules . TEAGS members warned that EDF’s failure to adequately address the concerns of local residents in Somerset was likely to be repeated in east Suffolk, as EDF moves forward with its proposals for Sizewell C.
“We can imagine how residents next to Hinkley C must be feeling. Although EDF has yet to make a final investment decision, local campaigners must now fear that there is very little standing in the way of the company proceeding with its construction plan, aspects of which they have fought valiantly to change,” said Su Swallow of TEAGS. “Having visited Hinkley and spoken to locals, we learned that their experience of negotiating with EDF matches our own in seeking to persuade EDF to amend its proposals – the company appears deaf to what we have to say.”
Gordon McInnes of TEAGS added: “Almost two years after the first consultation stage here in Suffolk on Sizewell C, EDF is doggedly sticking to unacceptable plans that will have a devastating impact on our tiny parish – including a multi-storey campus for 3,000 construction workers 300 metres from a hamlet of 100 people, and a wildly unrealistic expectation that the B1122, a country road through Theberton, can cope with all construction, accommodation and emergency traffic.”
In June, two members of TEAGS and two members of the Suffolk Parishes Liaison Group travelled to Somerset to visit the Hinkley Point C site and meet councillors and representatives of the communities most affected by the planned development. Their findings reflected the experience of east Suffolk residents in addressing proposals for Sizewell C, where EDF has so far failed to adequately address local concerns including:
• transport and emergency access, with the B1122 being unfit for purpose.
• opposition to worker accommodation proposals. Specifically EDF proposes an on-site campus for 3000 construction workers adjacent to the tiny hamlet of Eastbridge. In Hinkley, 500 workers will live on the site, the remaining 1,000 on brownfield sites in Bridgwater (population 41,000).
• Noise and light pollution from the construction site.
• impact on sensitive wildlife sites
“Whilst EDF is using the same language in Suffolk as in Somerset – a desire to ‘be a good neighbour’ – we found that local campaigners at Hinkley had had to fight extremely hard in order to gain even the smallest concessions,” said Jon Swallow of TEAGS, who has been in regular contact with Hinkley communities for for more than two years. “What guarantees do we have that we will be able to achieve any shift in EDF’s plans for Sizewell?”
EDF will launch an additional consultation stage ‘in the coming months’ and have promised to provide more detail about their plans, but so far their approach to consultation appears more like one-way information; rather than trying to understand community concerns and modify their plans to minimize or remove the impact upon their neighbours. Local communities will be working hard between now and then to ensure that their concerns about the decade-long construction phase have been loudly and formally registered, before it is too late for EDF to amend their proposals.
1. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1093_en.htm?locale=en. Austria plans to challenge this decision.