A campaign group has encouraged all residents to comment on plans to build a new nuclear power station at Sizewell on the Suffolk coast before a deadline is reached at the end of September.
Stop Sizewell C held a meeting at Theberton church on Saturday, 5 September, to hear the views of local residents.
EDF claim the new power station will create 2,400 jobs in the county if plans are approved by the government.
The proposals are now with the Planning Inspectorate, but comments can be submitted until the 30 September by those registered as an ‘interested party’.
Alison Downes, Executive Director of Stop Sizewell C, urged residents to share their views:
What do EDF say?
The energy company, already involved in the construction of Hinkley Point in Somerset has emphasised the benefit the power station will bring to Suffolk’s economy.
A statement said: “Sizewell C will deliver jobs, skills, education and training for decades to come while helping to tackle the climate crisis.
“Thousands of local people stand to gain well paid employment from the construction and operation of Sizewell C, just as we have experienced at Sizewell B and at Hinkley Point C in Somerset.
“We remain as committed as ever to making the most of Sizewell C for Suffolk.”
EDF also highlighted a letter signed by ten education and business leaders supporting the project.
The letter, backed by people like Dr Nikos Savvas, principal of West Suffolk College, said: “Our schools, colleges and youth organisations are working with the existing power station Sizewell B and the Sizewell C project.
“We want to develop home-grown talent and help them stay and develop their skills in the region so they can live, work and bring up their families in an area with a bright future.”
The plan is also backed by Adam Dalby, from Brafe Engineering in Woodbridge, who currently works on Sizewell B and said the company “would like to work with Sizewell C”.
He added: “It’s a boost for the company, just the fact that something’s being built in the UK of such high engineering value.
“There is a skills gap in the UK, so a project like Sizewell C can only benefit that in terms of the skills development and the opportunities it can provide.”
Saturday’s meeting was chaired by broadcaster Bill Turnbull, former host of BBC Breakfast, who lives in East Suffolk.
He said the region’s beauty means residents should do “everything we can” to protect the area.
Not all local residents have opposed the construction of Sizewell C; environmentalist Zion Lights said the power plant could be a chance to shift the country away from fossil fuels.
She said: “The UK energy mix still mostly consists of fossil fuels, with around 40% reliance on gas, and intermittent use of coal. These polluting energy sources not only drive global warming, but they also lead to increased air pollution and have impacts on local, often disadvantaged communities who have to live near these highly polluting plants.
“In contrast, nuclear is a clean and reliable source of energy that can help to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
“We have to think beyond localism and consider the impact of a warming planet on the rest of the country – and the rest of the world. Without nuclear, we cannot wean ourselves off of fossil fuels – Germany’s energy experiment has shown us that.
“The alternatives are hugely environmentally destructive and also take a significant toll on humans. That’s why we need Sizewell C, and then Moorside to be built.”