Statement on Hinkley Point 15 September 2016

Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) expresses support for communities adjacent to Hinkley Point C as UK Government gives the project the green light.

TEAGS fears that EDF’s failure to adequately address local concerns at Hinkley will be replicated in east Suffolk, with even greater hardship for residents here.

[SUFFOLK] Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) today expressed support for local Somerset residents, as the UK Government gave permission for Hinkley Point C nuclear new build to proceed provided new conditions are met. [1] EDF, which had made its final investment decision on 28 July, and its Chinese partner China General Nuclear Power Corp, have both agreed.

“We can imagine how residents next to Hinkley C must be feeling, where local campaigners fought valiantly to change aspects of EDF’s construction proposals but to little avail,” said Su Swallow of TEAGS. “Having visited Hinkley, we know that their experience of negotiating with EDF matches our own thus far in seeking to persuade EDF to amend it proposals – the company appears deaf to what we have to say. The only straw of comfort is the Government’s intention to take a ‘special share’ in future reactors, and we will do all in our power to engage the Government in our battle to stop EDF trampling our communities in east Suffolk.”

EDF staff told Theberton and Eastbridge Parish Council on 14 September that the company hoped to press ahead swiftly with a second stage of consultations in Suffolk on its proposals for Sizewell C.

Alison Downes of TEAGS said, “Nearly four years after the first consultation stage here in Suffolk on Sizewell C, all evidence suggests that 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 beside a hamlet of 100 people, along one of the main routes into RSPB Minsmere. and a wildly unrealistic expectation that the B1122, a country road through Theberton, can cope with all construction and emergency traffic.”

In July the results of a Suffolk County Council survey revealed that traffic on the B1122 was “the number one” concern for the community, with residents feeling that EDF had not yet provided any satisfactory mitigation proposals to counter the problems. Local media quoted County Councillor Guy McGregor as saying: “We needed to hear what concerns local people have about the development. This report has given voice to such concerns and EDF need to listen and act upon this…We will use this information to ask EDF Energy to take direct measures to address the widespread worries of the local community.”  [2]

The communities around Sizewell are increasingly aware that EDF has so far failed to adequately address local concerns about:

  •   transport, with up to 600 lorries a day expected to use the B1122 to bring loads to Sizewell.
  •   emergency access, given the very limited road infrastructure in the area.
  •   opposition to a campus for 3,000 construction workers adjacent to a tiny hamlet. In Hinkley, 500 workers will live on the site, the remaining 1,000 on brownfield sites in Bridgwater, (population 41,000).
  •  Noise, light and air pollution
  •  Impact on sensitive wildlife and habitats as well as the wider Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

“Whilst EDF is using the same language in Suffolk as in Somerset – a desire to ‘be a good neighbour’ – there is no sign so far that we will be able to achieve any shift in EDF’s plans for Sizewell,” said Jon Swallow of TEAGS. “Our small rural communities will bear the brunt of the construction phase but trampling our villages is clearly seen as the easiest option, with little hope of meaningful mitigation.”

EDF will not say whether its plans have changed since Stage 1 consultations, but there is no indication that they have done so and residents have been told they must wait for Stage 2 documents for more information. Meanwhile TEAGS representatives have met Ministers in both the then Department of Energy and Climate Change and Department of Transport, and County and District Councillors. It has carried out extensive mapping of the number households that would be affected by EDF’s use of the B1122 for construction and emergency traffic [3] and made a strong case for an alternative Sizewell relief road from the A12 to the Sizewell C site. TEAGS will be increasing pressure on the county and district councils to ensure that the group’s concerns about the decade-long construction phase have been loudly and formally registered.


  1. The UK Government’s conditions, as described by the BBC are:

– After Hinkley, the government will take a special share in all new nuclear plants.

– Full implications of foreign ownership of power stations will be scrutinised for the purposes of national security.

– The government will ensure foreign direct investment works in the country’s best interests.