Sizewell C nuclear plant gets government go-ahead

Published by Rhys Taylor-Brown on July 21st 2022, 12:01am

The government has granted development consent for the new Sizewell C nuclear plant, situated on the Suffolk coast.

French energy giant EDF, the main funder of the estimated £20 billion plant, has said that it will run for 60 years and cater for seven per cent of the UK’s electricity demand, with 3.2 gigawatts worth of electrical output capable of powering six million UK homes.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed the granting of development consent for the site, after the application had been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate just over two years ago.

Sizewell C will be situated next to the existing and operational Sizewell B, and the decommissioned Sizewell A site.

Kwarteng added that the government will make all future planning decisions on Sizewell C, given that it is being classed as a nationally significant infrastructure project. The government will take a 20 per cent stake in Sizewell C and has pledged to invest £100 million into its delivery.

Planning Inspectorate CEO, Sarah Richards, suggested that it had taken a lengthy amount of time to approve the project owing to the challenges of the pandemic.

She said: “This examination took place during the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions, and the examining authority worked hard to ensure that local people, the local authorities - East Suffolk District Council and Suffolk County Council - and other interested parties were able to fully participate.

“The examining authority listened and gave full consideration to local views and the evidence gathered during the examination before making its recommendation.”

The Conservative controlled local planning authority, East Suffolk County Council, said that it will review the granting of development consent over the coming weeks despite the government taking control of decision-making on the site. This comes after local environmentalist groups have vowed to appeal the decision to allow the project to proceed.

The proximity of the Minsmere nature reserve to Sizewell C is likely to negatively impact local wildlife according to the Stop Sizewell C campaign group, which has also said that it will “continue to challenge every aspect” of the nuclear site.

Craig Rivett, East Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said that the local authority would work closely with the project developers and locals to “ensure that appropriate mitigation is in place to help lessen the impacts of the project during the construction phase”.

Photo by Zorba the Geek

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Rhys Taylor-Brown
Junior Editor
July 21st 2022, 12:01am

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