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 22 September 2020
From Chris Quinn

Representation

As a resident of Leiston I wish to voice my concerns and opposition in relation to the building of Sizewell C. There are a number of areas I would like to address - Whatever EDF's Transport plans in relation to 'park and ride', bypasses and delivery by sea the effect on traffic flow in the region will be enormous on both the A12 and local roads. This will impact on the livelihoods of many, in an area where tourism is a major source of income and jobs, and also on the lives of those living here. Last year an air quality report on part of the A12 in this area stated that although current movements of HGV's only account for 6% of traffic flow they accounted for 53.5% of Nitrous Oxide concentrations. Given that as part of EDF's road transport strategy the figure of between 500 and 1000 lorries per day has been mentioned this will have a hugely significant increase in emissions and a further reduction of air quality as well as an impact on the one thing the Government has pledged to do something about - namely climate change. As well as blighting lives this huge increase in traffic will have a detrimental effect to visitor numbers to the area. Last year the Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation estimated that Sizewell C and Scottish Power projects could cost the visitor economy between £24 - 40 million a year - because people travel to and stay in this region for the coastline, the countryside and the tranquillity. They certainly won't come to visit a giant building site after being stuck behind a convoy of HGV's. Any decline in tourism, leading to major job losses and business closures will not be offset by EDF's job creation scheme, especially as it is their intention to build a 3,000 space campus on site for workers from outside the area. The anti social effects on Leiston, which will effectively have its population doubled, will be enormous. If EDF were serious about green travel why haven't they established greater links with Network Rail? By upgrading the East Coast Rail line between Ipswich and Lowestoft they would not only be seen to be positively contributing to the area but also enabling the building of worker campuses on brownfield sites at either end of the line which would be a major economic boost to both Ipswich and Lowestoft - towns that are bigger and much better suited to a large influx of outside labour. Workers could then travel to and from site by train. Not only would this negate the destruction of part of the countryside but also stop Leiston from being over run and turned into a wild west town, as was the case during the construction of Sizewell B, EDF, despite their fine words and 'tick box' consultation exercises are not building Sizewell C out of any sense of altruism but purely for profit. Indeed, it has been suggested that the Sizewell C and Hinkley Point builds are more critical to the survival of the French nuclear industry than they are to providing electricity to UK consumers. The company itself has a poor track record in delivering projects of this nature. EDF nuclear builds in both France and Finland are significantly over budget and over run. Last year the BBC reported that Hinkley Point ran over budget to the tune of £2.9 billion and that an over run of 15 months had been identified - this in the same year EDF were giving assurances that the build was proceeding on time and on budget. So much for the promise economies of scale that the Hinkley Point build would bring to Sizewell C. On this showing EDF are fast becoming an unreliable partner in an unreliable arena. The whole question of nuclear power as a source of energy is questionable given that currently more electricity is produced from renewables per year (30%) than nuclear power (20%) (source: Digest of UK Energy Statistics). There is no guarantee that at the end of the Sizewell build, whenever that will be (their French build is 11 years late), that nuclear power as a source of energy will not be obsolete. And we as the citizens of this country will have to pay the price. Quite literally because as well as the destruction of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Scientific Interest, the increase in carbon footprint from increased traffic and the effects on health that will bring their will be a financial penalty. Given the current poor relations and tensions with China in the wake of the government's decision over Huawei and the 5G network it has been mooted that if CGN are not allowed to partner EDF or invest it will mean the implementation of a Regulated Asset Base and a surcharge on utility bills for all users, to make up the financial shortfall. Which will inevitably lead to civil disobedience when consumers refuse to pay. Despite the overwhelming need for economic recovery post Covid 19 there can be absolutely no justification in desecrating the world renown Minsmere reserve and adjoining sites of scientific interest with a white elephant of Sizewell C magnitude - and creating more nuclear waste for future generations to deal with. Let us remember that even after 70 years of nuclear power in the UK no permanent store for nuclear waste has been agreed - despite successive governments best efforts - waste that is lethal to human tissue and remains so for thousands of years. On the BBC news website on 20th July this year under the headline 'Government promises a green recovery' the Environment Secretary George Eustace is quoted as saying 'Protecting nature will be at the heart of UK's recovery from Covid virus.' This will not be the case if the proposed Sizewell C development goes ahead. If I can finish with one final point to underline the unsuitability of this build it is this - As part of their consultation process in response to questions about the suitability of the site they stated that the Sizewell site is on one of the most stable coastlines. At the same time Coastal Partnership East were reported in the press as identifying Suffolk as having Europe's fastest eroding coastline. So much so that Thorpness, one mile south of the Sizewell site, is set to have £1.5million spent on it's coast in the next two years. I humbly urge you to make the brave decision of throwing out EDF's plans for Sizewell C and sincerely hope that other environmentally sound solutions can be found to take their place, not just for today but for tomorrow's future generations.