The views expressed in this page do not represent those of the Planning Inspectorate. This page consists of content submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the public and other interested parties, giving their views of this proposal.
The Sizewell C Project
Received 15 September 2020
From Walberswick Parish Council
“1. Application We wish to raise concerns about the inadequacy of the Planning Statement with particular reference to: ? Approach to environmental mitigation, management and development flexibility ? Construction worker Social/Community Mitigation ? Transport and Freight Management strategy ? Planning Assessment – Benefits and Assessment Principles 2. Site Selection ? The Government’s National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation concluded that Sizewell is a potentially suitable site for new nuclear power stations before 2025. This potential suitability is no longer valid because of the following: o It was based on an ability to use a sea-based transport strategy. Once that was deemed unviable by EDF, the project should have been declared unsuitable because land based transport cannot be properly mitigated. o The development cannot be operating before 2025 and the CO2 admissions from construction will not be offset until at least 2040 therefore making no contribution to carbon zero targets. o The site is at risk from climate change, sea level rise and fluvial flooding; o It will have an adverse impact on adjacent internationally designated sites of ecological importance; o It will have an adverse impact on coastal processes; o There are some eight other uncoordinated energy projects planned for the same locality resulting in significant cumulative impacts to the East Suffolk transport, environment and economy; o Spent fuel and high-level waste would stay on this eroding coastal site until at least 2135. 3. Local communities, landscape and heritage ? The power station and all the associated development would have unacceptable impacts on local communities including every town and village along the coast and along the A12. For Walberswick, in particular, we are completely dependent on accessing the village along the B1125 and A12 corridors. B1125 will become a dangerous rat run to escape the A12 Park and Rides, new roundabouts, and massive traffic increases making getting to school, shopping, jobs, medical care and recreation extraordinarily difficult and dangerous for the local population. ? Our village’s economy is based around a rural, clean, relatively accessible coast. Accessibility to villages, walking paths and sites such as Minsmere and Dunwich Heath are major draws for visitors and residents of Walberswick. The urbanisation, congestion, noise, air and light pollution caused by this massive infrastructure project will destroy the basis of our village economy and the fabric of our community. ? The proposed development, by virtue of locality, design and scale, would have a catastrophic impact on the integrity of the AONB and the many nationally and internationally important nature conservation areas. ? The planned mitigations for landscape and ecological damage are inadequate and would not compensate for the damage done during construction and for the lifetime of the power station. 4. Transport ? The so called “integrated road-based” transport strategy is unsustainable and inadequate and would have an adverse impact on local communities and result in significant damage to the East Suffolk visitor economy. HGV numbers are as high as under EDF’s “road led” strategy rejected at Stage 4 consultations. ? Meaningful upgrades to the A12 and B1122 are not proposed to be started before site preparations and significant earthworks begin. Several of the other energy projects are likely to be in progress at this time with peak HGV movements. Road upgrades would need to be completed before any work starts at the Sizewell site. ? The urbanisation and congestion caused by the associated development is not properly mitigated and will directly impact on our village. This includes: o Impact of the Yoxford roundabout on residents, visitors and traffic congestion o Location of the Park and Ride facilities north of Darsham station will directly and negatively impact the ability of residents to reach Darsham station and to travel south for shopping, medical care, school and public transportation links. Major tailbacks in both directions will be inevitable. o Location of the Freight Management Centre which will disrupt traffic on the A12 from just outside Ipswich all the way to Sizewell. o The Sizewell Link Road will isolate and sever communities, damage the rural footpath system, disrupt ability to cycle, divide farmland and has little legacy value. 5. Environment ? Most importantly, the application is wholly inadequate in assessing the environmental impacts of the power station, its construction, the pylons and the associated development. Until this is done and assessed, no approval should be forthcoming. Areas of specific concern include: o Impacts on Minsmere Sluice cannot be assessed due to the combination of changes in ground and surface water combined with an incomplete plan for access to potable and construction water supplies. o The environmental implications of the proposed stockpile and spoil storage areas is unclear with contradictory statements and assessments o Mitigation of the environmental impact of the proposed borrow pits and subsequent landfill and other areas of landfill has not been addressed. o The development does not address the potential adverse impacts on the ecological value of species and habitats in the marine and terrestrial environment. o EDF itself admits that it will not be able to mitigate against the harm to the protected Marsh Harrier. The RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife representation deserves special consideration in this regard. o Implications for the integrity of designated sites, including internationally designated sites - European sites and European marine sites - nationally designated sites - SSSIs, the AONB - and impact on local, regionally and nationally significant natural history is not adequately addressed. o RSPB Minsmere is of international significance. We are concerned that Minsmere would be irreparably harmed by the proposed development. This would not only be a disaster for nature, but would irreparably harm the visitor economy. RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife’s representation is critical. o There is inadequate information on the impact of the abstraction of water as well as risks to groundwater levels and surrounding habitats and ecology have not been adequately assessed and nor mitigated. 7. Marine and Coastal processes ? The information and design of the planning application in terms of coastal processes is unclear and inadequate and planning should not be allowed to go forward until this is clearly addressed and independently analysed and assessed. ? Site safety, marine ecology, and flood risk impacts during construction and operation have not been adequately assessed. ? EDF predictions of when the hard coastal defence will be exposed cannot be accepted when no finalised design has been made available. ? EDF have not justified the assertion that coastal effects to the south will not extend beyond the coralline crag to the north of Thorpeness. ? EDF cannot justify the assertion of shingle accretion north of the site until a complete design of the hard coastal defence is presented for assessment. This is of the highest concern to Walberswick given the ongoing situation of coastal erosion and the threats posed to our Village and all those around us even without Sizewell C. 8. Worker Campus ? The campus would have significant negative impacts on our local communities during construction and thereafter because of noise, light, pollution, traffic and social pressures. There is insufficient justification for its location and impacts and ignores suggestions for alternative locations. 9. Economic and social impacts ? EDF’s own surveys show that a significant percentage of visitors will be deterred from visiting the area during construction, thereby damaging the Suffolk coast visitor economy in general and Walberswick in particular. ? Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation found that tourism could lose up to £40 million a year, with the potential loss of up to 400 jobs. We believe the numbers could be even higher if the true impact of the construction were presented. ? Unacceptable pressure on local housing accommodation. ? Inadequate information to address local supply chain advantages and disadvantages. ? Does not address the impact of the development on the availability of tourism accommodation, particularly during construction. ? Does not adequately address the impact on jobs and skills, during construction and operation. ? Does not address the issue of locally based employment. Sectoral work is inadequate and does not help to explain what jobs, at what skills/remuneration levels, will be available to local people. The experience at Hinkley suggests EDF’s projections are undependable. ? Socio economic aspects of development are not adequately addressed by the developer. ? Minimal consideration of potential negative impacts on local businesses outside the nuclear supply chain whether through competition or disruption to investment. ? No account of the long term negative impact on the environment and the future natural capital and tourism value of the site, i.e. no long term view emerging of the economic legacy of a comparable project other than jobs created in the nuclear sector.”