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 23 September 2020
From Wickham Market Parish Council
“Dear Sirs: SIZEWELL C: Application for Development Consent Order Relevant Representation: Wickham Market Parish Council (WMPC) 1. Introduction 1.1 Wickham Market is situated to the west of the A12 about fourteen miles south west of the main development site. Located at the junction of the B1078 from Needham Market to the west and B1438 from Woodbridge to the south, the village is a key service centre for many neighbouring villages most notably Pettistree, Hacheston, Marlesford and Campsea Ashe. 1.2 Full information on the Council’s stance to the Sizewell C proposals and evidence regarding the WMPC area’s demographics, heritage, character and location is available on the WMPC web site: [Redacted] And the Neighbourhood Plan web site [Redacted] 1.3 WMPC believe that the parish, will suffer significant and negative impacts from the construction phase of the SZC project. WMPC expect EDF to provide fully funded mitigation measures for the highway network but remain concerned that these will not resolve the issues created. 1.4 The claim by EDF of providing zero carbon energy by 2036 is unlikely to be achievable given the entire construction process and the damage to the Suffolk environment. 2. Southern Park and Ride Site (SP&R) 2.1 Adverse Traffic Impacts 2.1.1 Additional traffic volumes during construction of Sizewell C are expected to lead to significant negative impacts for local road users and residents as they will: a) involve 700+ daily HGV and 700+ bus and van movements on the A12, and significant extra LGV and private car movements on the B1078, the High Street - and other local roads; b) entail up to 1050 cars travelling through the village additionally each day over the construction period, - these figures could be higher due to the shift patterns for a seven day week / 20-hour working day at the main site; c) result in a significant increase in noise, vibration, air and light pollution affecting properties and residential amenity; d) further exacerbate the increase in traffic evident in recent years, and adverse cumulative traffic impacts expected from planned additional housing in Wickham Market, nearby towns and villages, and the construction of other major energy projects within the area; e) compromise the safety of cyclists and pedestrians using promoted leisure routes and accessing the SP&R; f) result in any benefits to retail outlets in the village centre (from worker purchases) being outweighed by the detrimental impacts arising from increased traffic, parking, and fly parking on waiting restrictions; and g) affect the slip road from the B1078 Fiveways roundabout to the SP&R access making it inadequate to accommodate vehicles needing to access the site or join the A12 north, with tail backs likely to occur around shift change times and creating detrimental impacts on local traffic movements. 2.1.2 Mitigation requested: a) Provision of car parks further south on the A12 to reduce the need for one large SP&R. The existing Martlesham Park and Ride site (A12/A1214) could be used for workers from that area taking some cars off the A12 northwards. b) Use of electronic tracking systems to track cars, LGVs and HGVs to ensure drivers use the preferred routes to the SP&R, i.e. A14 and A12 wherever possible. c) Use of smart cameras and number plate recognition to exclude Sizewell traffic from specific routes when travelling to/from the SP&R. d) EDF to design and fund (capital and revenue costs) a scheme of pedestrian, cycle and public realm improvements at Wickham Market (as stated in their DCO documentation) in accordance with the emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan (NP) Policy Wick10. This policy highlights existing issues of pedestrian safety in the centre of the village which EDF related traffic will exacerbate. e) EDF to design and fund (capital and revenue costs) a scheme of pedestrian, cycle and public realm improvements on the B1078, High Street, gateway entry points and other specific areas on the village road network. All agreed traffic mitigation measures should be carried out prior to the use of the SP&R and the construction of SZC. f) At the time of writing no firm proposals (detail, scope, or specific measures) have been tabled by EDF despite regular meetings since December 2019. No provision for either cycle or footway routes to the SP&R site are indicated on the DCO plans. 2.2 Adverse Landscape and Visual Impacts 2.2.1 WMPC is concerned that: a) the location and size of the SP&R in an elevated prominent location will result in it being visible over a wide area, affecting the setting of the Special Landscape Areas of the River Deben and River Ore; b) insufficient assessment of landscape and visual impacts from a limited set of receptors has resulted in poor design with inadequate mitigation proposals; c) no viewpoints for visual assessment have been selected from Wickham Market despite the Zone of Visual Influence encapsulating extensive parts of the village; d) the proposed site and highway lighting will create adverse impacts on current dark skies viewed from the village and its countryside setting including Hacheston, Marlesford, Loudham and Campsea Ashe; e) the proximity of the development to the Whin Belt woodland and the loss of a section of ancient hedgerow and oak on the southern boundary will result in adverse landscape impacts which have been inadequately assessed. 2.2.2 Mitigation requested: a) A scheme of boundary landscape mitigation through hedges with trees be provided on the site boundaries in order to secure a long-term legacy of landscape improvements to remain following removal of the SP&R and the restoration of the land back to agricultural use. b) Temporary bunding provided close to all site boundaries to minimise views. c) Landscape restoration and aftercare should be secured through planning conditions and legal agreement. d) The associated SP&R buildings, signage, drainage, and lighting have been indicated on a suite of ‘indicative’ plans titled “Not for Approval” apparently without an assessment of visual impacts arising. These plans need prior assessment to any DCO being granted with ancillary structures conditioned and strictly controlled. Wickham Market Parish Council 21st September 2020 Note: Documents setting out WMPC’s specific concerns regarding the adverse impacts from the SP&R and a traffic ‘Wickham Market Problem Statement’ were issued to EDF at a meeting on 9th December 2019. A joint parish document ‘Parish Traffic Mitigation Proposals Working Document’ was presented to EDF at a meeting on 13th July 2020, specific comments relating to a WSP document regarding traffic mitigation were tabled on 24th August. WMPC are concerned at the lack of any positive mitigation being offered by EDF in response to these documents, and to discussions which have taken place at a series of five meetings (to date) and the PC responses submitted during the consultation period and pre-DCO submission. WMPC web site: [Redacted]”