The Sizewell C Project
Dear Sir We are writing to say we are extremely unhappy that EDF are intending to submit their DCO application this month and that the Planning Inspectorate will only have 28 days from the submission date to make a decision to accept the DCO or not. The country is in lockdown, local councils and government agencies will be severely impacted by the restrictions placed on them due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We would ask you to ensure that EDF wait until the country is back to normal before it submits their DCO application, then a proper, more in-depth review can take place. It looks like EDF are taking advantage of the pandemic to push through the DCO without consideration from all who oppose the building of yet another nuclear power station. The government are saying the country will be different once the lockdown is gradually lifted and people start to go back to work, so in that case wouldn’t it be better for EDF to wait and see if we require yet another nuclear power station, which is not carbon free with all the concrete etc that is used in it’s construction, loss of historical woodlands and sites like SSIs etc. Why can’t we use solar power, wind power and wave power, all this can be up and running quicker than the 10 to 15 years it will take to build Sizewell C? in the event that EDF submits its DCO application, we ask that the planning process is made to stop until all social distancing restrictions are lifted and everyone is free to fully engage. In summary, our concerns are listed below: • The DCO scrutiny process requires the free access and movement of personnel of every authority and agency involved, from the Planning Inspectorate to the county, district, town and parish councils and every individual attending the hearings • Local authorities, large and small, and regulators are all under pressure, such as ability to travel, lack of staff and timescales and are likely overwhelmed dealing with so many difficult issues • EDF should, at least, show respect for the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic by calling a halt to business as usual for a sensible and reasonable period of time to allow life to regain some normality • Many will still be required to self-isolate and the gathering of people in even small groups is likely to be banned as we continue to struggle to fight the pandemic • We would ask that you call on EDF to agree to delay the submission of their DCO until the government declare the Covid-19 emergency permanently over, enabling all to give their full and undivided attention to fighting this outrageous threat to our Heritage Coast and AONB • Residents will be unable to visit libraries or other public places where the documents are displayed and many may not have access to the internet at all, while others will suffer from irregular and poor quality reception • Many residents will already be suffering anxiety from isolation, financial worries, ill-health of a loved one or even bereavement, without the added burden and worry of the Sizewell C DCO Yours sincerely Stephen and Beverley Chamberlain
Dear Mr and Mrs Chamberlain, Thank you for your email expressing concern about the submission of Sizewell C New Nuclear Power Station application for development consent. The process for applying for a Development Consent Order (DCO) is set out in the Planning Act 2008. The timing of the application is at the discretion of the Applicant. The Planning Inspectorate (the Inspectorate) is mindful of the need to ensure both openness and fairness throughout all stages of the DCO process and will continue to highlight this in discussions with the Applicant. Please see a note of the meeting between the Inspectorate and the Applicant held on the 17 April 2020 for more information. With regard to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and the arrangements for members of the public to access and view documents relating to the DCO application, please note the contents of the Government’s Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) of 13 May 2020 which provides updated guidelines regarding digital documentation. The WMS explains that online inspection of documents should be the default position and, recognising that there are sections of the community that may have limited or no access to the internet, Applicants should take reasonable steps to ensure all members of the public are able to be involved. The Planning Inspectorate’s published guidance has been updated and will continue to be updated as the situation develops: attachment 1 When an Applicant submits an application for development consent to the Planning Inspectorate there then follows a period of up to 28 days for the Planning Inspectorate, on behalf of the Secretary of State, to decide whether or not the application meets the standards required to be accepted for Examination. The standards are set out in Section 55 of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended) and Regulations 5 and 6 of the Infrastructure Planning (Applications: Prescribed Forms and Procedure) Regulations 2009. All parties are encouraged to sign up for Email Updates using the button on the project page or via the link below: attachment 2;email= Email Updates will enable parties to observe what’s happening on the application after it has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. Should the application be accepted for Examination, it is important to note that if parties then wish to participate in the Examination they would need to register as an Interested Party at the appropriate time during the Pre-examination stage. If parties have signed up for the Email Updates they will receive a prompt when the registration period opens (the Relevant Representation period). For further information about registering as an Interested Party please see ‘Advice Note 8.2: How to register to participate in an Examination’: attachment 3 The Advice Note explains that if the Planning Inspectorate decides to accept an application for Examination, it will then be the Applicant’s duty to advertise the Relevant Representation period and provide details about how to register to become an Interested Party. The Applicant has indicated that it will extend this registration period beyond the statutory minimum of thirty days, if the application is accepted, to allow all parties more time to review the application documents and register their interest before the start of the six month Examination stage. I hope you find the above information helpful.