The Sizewell C Project

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 16 September 2020
From Catriona Donkin

Representation

I wish to my register my interest in the planning application relating to the granting of permission for Sizewell C Project, Planning Inspectorate Ref. EN010012 I was brought up and spent much of my early life in Suffolk and continue to visit family members in Woodbridge and Ipswich. I am very worried about the negative impact this construction will have on the aptly named Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. However, I will focus my comments on just one aspect of the application - WATER. *Is Anglian Water in a position to supply the vast amounts of water that will be required both during construction and during the lifetime of the reactor? EDF has said it is not financially viable to construct and operate a desalination plant and will therefore rely on mains water.  *Suffolk is in the driest part of the UK with low rainfall; 71% of the UK average according to the Anglian Water Drought Plan 2019. It is estimated that 1,600m3 of water per day will be required. Even the Stage 3 consultation makes no mention of the source of so much potable water.  *This is a predominantly agricultural region, producing large quantities of wheat, potatoes and sugar beet. For years farmers have been forced to irrigate their fields because of low rainfall.  Climate change projections show that this region is expected to experience lower summer rainfall and increased evaporation, leading to lower groundwater recharge in the future. *In addition, this is one of the fastest growing regions in the UK with the numbers of new homes being built rising fast. The government has told Suffolk Coast District Council that it needs to build nearly 19,000 new homes in the next 15 years, all requiring drainage and mains drinking water. The Environment Agency has designated this as an area of serious water stress and opportunities for new water resources are limited, but I understand that the water needs of the nuclear reactor would supersede those of inhabitants, businesses and agriculture. *Predicted rises in sea levels in the coming century of up to one metre could threaten the reactor as it is situated right on the coast.  In addition, the offshore banks are always moving and even though EDF say their modelling predicts that their proposed sea defences would protect the site, future storm surges could completely change the shape of the coast. These sea defences might also interfere with the natural movement of shingle and impact other coastal resorts such as Aldeburgh and Orford. *Another danger is that if water levels drop because of extraction, the draw-down of water from Minsmere, RSPB’s flagship nature reserve, will severely impact this unique, diverse and fragile habitat. I hope you will consider these points. Thank you very much. Catriona Donkin