RSPB’s pledge to work with EDF to minimise Sizewell C impact, 18 July 2019

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A wildlife charity has pledged to work with EDF to minimise the environmental impact of a new nuclear power station of the Suffolk coast – despite its concerns over the impact on a popular beauty spot.

Fears have been raised that the proposed new Sizewell C nuclear reactor could have a devastating impact on RSPB Minsmere.

EDF has said it is already trying to mitigate the potential effects of Sizewell C, for example by creating a new 165-acre heathland and wetland habitat at nearby Aldhurst Farm.

But the RSPB said its fears are still not being addressed as EDF started its fourth round of consultation on the project.

A spokesman for the RSPB said: “The RSPB does not believe that Sizewell is a suitable position for a new nuclear power station.

EDF hope to construct a new reactor at Sizewell power station near Leiston in Suffolk Picture: SU ANDERSON

“As highlighted in the government’s National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation (EN-6), Sizewell C could have detrimental impacts on internationally and nationally important landscapes, habitats and species of the Suffolk coast and at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve.

“We are yet to see evidence in full which addresses all our concerns and will not be satisfied until we have been presented with this.”

However the spokesman said: “We wish to work with EDF to ensure that if the proposed development does go ahead, we will see the best possible outcome for the environment and nature at RSPB Minsmere and beyond.”

In March, it was reported that Minsmere’s status as the UK’s most important bird reserve was at risk from Sizewell C, with the renewal of its European Diploma for Protected Areas only to be renewed on the condition a new reactor will not “detriment” the reserve.

The land owned by the RSPB is home to some of the UK’s most loved birds, including the nightingale, bearded tit and the majestic marsh harrier.

In the new plans, two sites are suggested to compensate for fen meadow that could be lost from the Sizewell Marshes Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The first proposal is east of Halesworth, while the other would be near Benhall.