Take Part in the Planning Process

The Sizewell C Planning Process is now underway. This page explains what will happen, when and how you can participate.

The Sizewell C application was submitted in May 2020 and amended in January 2021. All EDF’s proposal documents are published here https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/eastern/the-sizewell-c-project/?ipcsection=docs.

The formal six month examination period began on 14 April 2021.  See below the timetable for information on next steps.

  • If you are an Interested Party; i.e. you registered in September 2020 by submitting a Relevant Representation, you have the right to take part in the process.
  • Everyone else theoretically does not BUT the Examining Authority are accepting contributions from others so we strongly encourage everyone to write to the Planning Inspectorate at any time sizewellc@planninginspectorate.gov.uk to register your objection to the project.

For an overview of the project’s impacts read our summary briefing on EDF’s (updated) proposals

FUTURE TIMETABLE (see the Planning Inspectorate’s timetable here).

  • 24 September. Deadline 8 (see below)
  • 5 October, Issue Specific Hearing on Water Desalination Plant.
  • 14 October: the Examinations must end after 6 months.
  • 14 January 2022: The Planning Inspectorate has 3 months to make a recommendation to the Business Secretary whether or not the project should receive planning consent.
  • 14 April 2022: Secretary of State decision.

Anything you choose to submit to the examination can be sent to  sizewellc@planninginspectorate.gov.uk. We recommend you send a copy to your MP,  Suffolk County Council and District Council. In east Suffolk contacts are:

**Guidance forDeadline 8, 24 September**

EDF has challenges in obtaining enough drinkable water to build Sizewell C. EDF’s problems have arisen because Essex & Suffolk Water cannot build the 28km of replacement or new high pressure water mains, to deliver up to 4million litres of potable (drinkable) water each day to the Sizewell C site in time – potentially as late as 2026 – and may not have sufficient water at all! They have issued a “Holding objection” to Sizewell C. EDF’s solution is to propose a water desalination plant. Read EDF’s proposals here:

The Planning Inspectorate wants comment by Deadline 8, 24 September. If you responded to EDF’s consultations in August, you can send these comments to PINS as a Deadline 8 submission, even if you already sent them a copy in August. Email sizewellc@planninginspectorate.gov.uk and include your Interested Party number if you have one. You may also wish to request to speak at the Issue Specific Hearing on this topic, scheduled for 5 October.

If you did not respond to the consultations, you can write to the Planning Inspectorate expressing your views, which may include:

  1. Your outrage that this fundamental issue is unresolved at this late stage in the planning process, two thirds of the way through the examination. Campaigners and communities have been asking questions about water for a decade. A joint letter to PINS from TASC and Stop Sizewell C will give some ideas.
  2. That EDF give no indication of what cost this will add to the project.
  3. EDF’s previous objections to desalination seem to have evaporated (in document AS-202 Water Supply Strategy Update, EDF states; “This option has been discounted in favour of alternative options, due to concerns with power consumption, sustainability, cost, and wastewater discharge. The desalination process is typically energy intensive, and the discharge of brine water as a result of desalination may not be suitable for discharge through the combined drainage outfall (CDO)
  4. Your specific objections to the proposals, eg:
    • The plant will take 4 – 6 months to build and be brought in by road, but because it cannot be installed at the very beginning of construction, drinkable water will need to be brought in by tanker for the first 9 -12 months of construction, up to 40/day (80 truck movements). EDF claims tankers and plant transport won’t raise HGV “caps” but we are doubtful.
    • The plant would operate 24/7 using diesel generators until onsite power is available. This will contribute to significant CO2, Nitrogen Oxides, and PM 10s and 2.5s. Atmospheric Ozone will also increase as a result of the combination of NOx and volatile organics which have health impacts.
    • Water discharged will be 1.6 times more (brine) concentrated than natural seawater and may exceed screening thresholds for zinc and chromium. Impacts on marine life from this and the water intakes are unclear,

Note that parallel to the DCO process, EDF has also applied to the Environment Agency (EA) for 3 Operating permits for Sizewell C.  The EA will be running consultations during the coming year or so and it is unlikely that permits will be granted (or refused) until June 2022.  Details of EDF’s permit applications are here: https://environment-agency.uk.com/3O4M-13KK8-4YC1UE-PTI50-1/c.aspx (our guidance on responding to the EA’s first consultations – which is now closed – can be found here.

WATCH: Stop Sizewell C’s statement at the Open Floor Hearing on 21 May 2021 (from 9 minutes) or read the statement here: Stop Sizewell C Open Floor Hearings 21 May 2021

WATCH: Short video by PINS on the Planning Process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs)

For more videos and a written description of the NSIP process see: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/application-process/the-process/