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Sizewell Stage 3 Consultation response

Project Size

This project is enormous. too big for the setting and land available. The government suggests that a single new nuclear power station should occupy 30 hectares (based on Sizewell B). Yet EDF are trying to squeeze Sizewell C & D into only 32 hectares.

Furthermore this area is primarily agricultural and tourism based and unsuited for an industrial project on this scale especially not on top of the Scottish Power and National Grid projects.

EDF should look at for the build of 2 nuclear reactors.  They have the roads, ports and infrastructure to cope with such a major project, an industrial heritage, pre-existing nuclear plants and far greater unemployment problems than Suffolk. 

 

Other projects in the area

No mention of other major energy coast NSIP projects. The Leiston/Sizewell area is also facing the creation of a 30-acre substation complex for Scottish Powers next two windfarms, and also two major industrial-scale National Grid projects called Nautilus and Eurolink to share power with Belgium and Holland.

These projects, which will run concurrently with the Sizewell C & D build, make the traffic modelling and estimates EDF has produced meaningless. So too the figures given for the workforce requiring accommodation in the area are well below the true numbers.

Further the additional 1000 workforce required during Sizewell B outages and the extra traffic that that generates should also be factored into the figures.

I appreciate the EDF are consulting on Sizewell C & D and not the other projects however there is a statutory requirement for EDF to take these projects into account when applying for planning consent. It would be in their interests to inform us now what the true volumes of traffic and workers will actually be.

Benefits vs Impacts

The benefits to the local community are glib and not actually true. All of them can be refuted. If there are to be such economic benefits why is there no evidence of same after years of living with Sizewells A and B? EDF state they will Avoid, mitigate or manage adverse economic and social impacts - 3 consultations and 7 years later we are still waiting for specifics.

Suffolk county council remains to be convinced that the benefits outweigh the impacts on the county, its landscape, roads, ecology, environment and local communities. There are no reports from EDF on the cumulative effects.

Transport

The Stage 3 Road-led option. Repeated requests and suggestions for a sensible link road direct from the A12 have been ignored until Stage 3 where all the viable link roads have been dismissed and a poorly thought out alternative link road has been proposed.

This link road means up to 1,500 HGVs a day from the A12, close to all three villages, potentially operating 24/7. The route is a bad choice, runs too close to many homes and listed buildings, with substantial embankments, cuttings and road and footpath closures, cutting off homes and farmhouses from village centres, breaking up communities and making farms unviable. Parallel to the B1122, there is no legacy benefit to be gained.

It has been repeatedly pointed out the B1122 is not fit for purpose and yet the latest Stage 3 link road uses parts of the B1122. If the B1122 isn’t fit for purpose for Sizewell - how on earth can it cope with the additional traffic from the other major projects?

Meanwhile the Theberton bypass affects too many residents and still places unfair congestion, noise, pollution, vibration damage and accidents on residents and visitors. And some residents will end up with the dubious pleasure of having a road running both behind and in front of their houses. No-one has ever advocated bypasses around B1122 villages. The B1122 is not fit for purpose and bypasses will not solve that issue.

Even with a new roundabout Yoxford will become a congestion and pollution blackspot. It’s pollution levels are already dangerously high.

Sizewell C & D need a proper, low-impact Relief Road, such as D2 or EDF’s route W, built before main construction starts. D2 is a more strategic route, serving multiple Energy Projects and providing a strong legacy for Leiston and Saxmundham. Along which the temporary worker accommodation could be built.

The only alternative offered by Stage 3 was the Rail-led strategy which was promptly dismissed as probably not feasible and in any case couldn’t be completed in time - so why mention it at all? However this didn’t stop EDF asking several questions about it in the consultation questionnaire.

One consistency has been the anticipated volumes of traffic these have steadily increased with each stage of the consultation. And that’s without considering traffic from the other NSIP projects.

Temporary Accommodation

EDF has ignored all feedback and is not moving from its plan for a new town for 2,400 construction workers, of 3-4 storey blocks with car parks and leisure facilities, on a greenfield site close to Minsmere and next to Eastbridge swamping a hamlet of 50 people.

Using the campus is not compulsory and is single occupancy; workers must go out to socialise with anyone other than immediate colleagues or to use sports facilities.

EDF has consistently refused to consider splitting the site or to consider locating workers in urban areas with suitable social infrastructure and potential for legacy. It has failed to justify why it is not using its approach at Hinkley, where 500 workers are onsite and 1,000 in Bridgwater where the site has been laid out for new housing afterwards.

The campus will bring noise, air and light pollution, a massive increase in traffic, and the potential for anti-social behaviour. This will affect our health and wellbeing and place an unfair burden on Leiston, Eastbridge, Theberton and Minsmere.

Where is the water, sewage and other services required for the accommodation block for 2400 workers and 400 berth caravan site supposed to come from? Never mind the x million gallons of fresh water required once the reactors are up and running.

Effect on tourism

Tourism is worth £250m to the local economy. EDF maintains there will be benefits for tourism? Yes the beds will all be taken by construction workers leaving none for the tourists, there will be no staff as they will all have been poached by EDF and its subcontractors for better wages and there will be no tourists in any case as no-one wants to visits a building site for their holidays. So we will have lost that £250m revenue. EDF have not identified how it can help mitigate these problems beyond offering a tourist fund whatever that means.

Environment.

Construction will be in an ANOB and threaten some of the most biodiverse habitats in the UK and the Heritage Coast, including two Sites of Special Scientific Interest and the internationally recognised RSPB Minsmere Reserve. It will be impossible to recover from the loss of habitats that host rare birds, animals and plants. The token effort of providing new habitat across the road is commendable however did anyone bother to serve an eviction notice on the wildlife?

The construction laydown areas, accommodation site, spoil heaps, quarries and causeway crossing of the SSSI will damage the fragile hydrology of the Minsmere Levels, Sizewell Marsh and affect the Minsmere Sluice. Alterations in the management of water run-off could make sensitive ecosystems wetter or drier, while the causeway crossing will impede the drainage of Sizewell Marsh SSSI habitat.
The proposed rock armour defence of the Sizewell C & D platform and Beach Landing Facility is inadequate, stopping above the low water line when it should go below it. Once the sacrificial dune erodes, the sea will be able to undermine the rock armour defence.

When quarry pits are refilled with excavated materials, there is a risk that pollutants will leach into the water table and Minsmere Levels groundwater over decades. EDF recognise the potential for pollution but are not proposing anything to stop it.

Spoil heaps, up to the height of a 10-storey building, could cause significant dust pollution to the AONB, Minsmere Levels and Sizewell Marsh, and could also affect human health.
Never mind the unsightly visual impact.

EDF has introduced 4 new pylons, the height of the reactors, which will negatively impact the AONB landscape, rather than installing this infrastructure underground as suggested in stages 1 & 2.

Mitigation

There is much talk of mitigation and taking into account but precious little detail beyond offering to plant trees which will do very little to improve the situation.

Define Temporary

The word temporary is constantly used but 10 years is not temporary.

Where is our legacy?

There is no suggestion of any legacy, the temporary accommodation is to be removed after 10 years, the proposed bypasses are useless and unlikely to be adopted by the council. The only legacy offered is a sports centre in Leiston. Wow!

Consultation questions

Some of the consultation questions have been pointless or unanswerable by the general public- why? There are many questions EDF should have asked but chose not to.

Stage 4 consultation

Due to the lack of information in all 3 stages and radical changes in Stage 3, I think there should be a Stage 4 consultation. This project is massive and we need more information and data.

The council, the planning inspectorate and the residents of need the total traffic volumes and number of workers for all the major projects not just Sizewell C&D.

Category: Stage 3 Consultation Responses