Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, House of Commons

29 April 2020

 

Dear Alok Sharma,

I write to enquire on matters of procedure in respect of the expected submission in the near future of the EdF Development Consent Order (DCO) in respect of Sizewell C.

Members of our organisation, Together Against Sizewell C (TASC), are interested to know what arrangements are planned to be put in place to allow members of the public to access, view and comment on documents relating to the DCO at this difficult time of pandemic, restricted mobility for the population and on-going lockdown. Some commentators predict that the lockdown will still be in place at Christmas, while many believe that an adequate or encouraging level of participation will be unachievable at least until the beginning of July. Many people who are likely to be affected by EdF’s plans will be unable to visit libraries or other public places where the documents are displayed and many are likely to have no access to the internet at all while others will suffer from irregular and poor quality reception.

As you are no doubt aware, more vulnerable members of the public have been required to self-isolate for long periods of time, while there are also the on-going problems associated with social distancing and the ‘stay home’ policy. This will clearly make examination of the documents, discussion, interaction and meetings to evaluate the public response to the DCO documents difficult, if not impossible. Less mobile people are likewise affected.

Please therefore advise us what plans are being put in place to take the pandemic restrictions into consideration in respect of the EdF DCO and set out how PINS will manage this vitally important period of scrutiny under such difficult conditions.

Sincerely,

Pete Wilkinson

Chairman Together Against Sizewell C (TASC)