With EDF having submitted the DCO application for Sizewell C (SZC) to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) and PINS having formally accepted the planning application on 24th June 2020, we are now in the Pre-Examination stage of the process. Our local authorities, i.e. Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council will have an important part to play in assessing the impact of this huge construction project, so we urge all who are concerned about the effect this project will have on their lives, the local environment, the wider environment, to let their elected representatives know.

The power of the pen cannot be underestimated.  If a politician receives one letter of complaint on a subject, he or she knows that there are another ten people who feel the same but who haven’t bothered to write.  At election time, that politician fears that inactivity on his or her behalf might cost them dearly in votes cast.  It is no wonder that in 1978, a government policy of killing half the grey seals in Orkney was abandoned overnight when the then Prime minister, Jim Callaghan, received 10,000 letters in one mail bag.

Within the next few weeks – in fact by the 3rd September in the case of East Suffolk Council (ESC), later in the month for Suffolk County Council (SCC) – councillors will be asked to vote on their views about Sizewell C:  do they support or oppose the development ‘in principle’? If ESC votes against Sizewell in a free vote on the 3rd September, the pressure will be on Suffolk County Council to follow suit.  If SCC votes against, it will be a ‘game changer’: both ES and SCC are statutory consultees who have great influence over the planning inspector’s decision to recommend or refuse to the Secretary of State EDF’s planning application.


We suggest emailing the Councillors, then forward a copy of each email you send to your MP (ensuring you include your address so they know the message is from a constituent). The websites that provide the names and contact details are as follows: –


Find your councillor:-

Suffolk County Council   https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/councillors-and-elected-representatives/find-your-councillor/

East Suffolk Council   https://eastsuffolk.cmis.uk.com/eastsuffolk/councillors.aspx

List of Cabinet Members and their responsibilities:-

Suffolk County Council   https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/the-council-and-its-committees/committees/cabinet/

East Suffolk Council   https://eastsuffolk.cmis.uk.com/eastsuffolk/Councillors/TheCabinet.aspx

Find you MP    https://members.parliament.uk/FindYourMP?SearchText=ss5

MP Therese Coffey email address  therese.coffey.mp@parliament.uk


A preliminary, non-exhaustive list of issues you may be concerned about are:

Coastal Processes

  – impact of sea defences on neighbours, incl SZB, SSSIs, RSPB Minsmere, Residents, Businesses, Farmers

– impact of permanent beach landing facility on coastal processes/environment

– protection provided by offshore coral-line crag not as effective as EDF claim

Flooding & Hydrology

– unpredictability of flood risk due to climate change, bearing in mind storage of spent fuel on site for 120-150 years

– impact on water-level dependent designated sites

– Sizewell predicted to become an island

Site Safety

– proximity to SZB viz cranes, risk of explosions

– proximity to SZB viz physical security

– impact of SZC construction on SZB emergency planning

Landscape & Visual Impact

– impact on protected landscapes AONB, SSSI’s, Ramsar, especially the qualities that gave rise to the AONB designation

Land Habitats & Wildlife

  – protected species including rare bats and birds

– protected habitats SSSI, Ramsar, SPA, SAC, MCZ

– destruction to make way for build e.g. cumulative impact on tree /hedge removal

– impact on water levels, affecting flora & fauna

– pollutants running into water dependent wildlife sites

– inadequacy of compensatory wildlife areas e.g. for Marsh Harriers

Marine Environment

  – impact on Marine Conservation Zone

– tonnes of fish/other marine killed from sea water cooling water intake pipes drawing in 2.5 billion gallons per day

– pollution & heat from sea water outlet pipe

– environmental damage to seabed from constructing pipework

Spent Fuel (Storage)

– SZC will be a de facto nuclear waste storage facility for up to 200 years

– precautionary principle when considering risks from the impact of climate change

– with Bradwell, possibility of nuclear waste from 5 nuclear power stations all stored in relatively small geographic area, near high population areas, Sizewell and Bradwell both in flood-zones 2/3 and in an emergency would both share major exit routes i.e. A12/A14

Mains Water

  – SZC is in one of driest regions of the UK

– local water co. says they can’t guarantee the 2 million litres mains water per day needed during 10+ year construction and 60-year operation

– sustainability of water use with predicted impacts of climate change- ultimate effect on people, farmers & businesses

– forecast impact with new housing being planned for the area

Jobs & Economy

  – boom & bust effect

– transfer of workers from HPC & not being locals i.e. undermining the economic case

– negative impact on existing tourism industry

– loss of qualified staff by existing local businesses

Community Impacts 

  – traffic impact on day to day life of residents- 1,000+ HGV’s per day as mainly road-led strategy + staff buses/vans/cars

– not building infrastructure before starting nuclear site/ poor site access

– accommodation blocks, spoil heaps, borrow pits, noise, air and light pollution 24/7, all in AONB 850+ acre development site

– air quality from traffic & construction & low-level radiation

– up to 7,900 workers overwhelming the area (Leiston has population of about 5,000)

– compulsory purchases

Traffic & Safety

– as above

– new roads, roundabouts, bypasses, railway

  – impact on SZB’s emergency plan during construction


  – air (concrete batching plant incident at HPC)

– light pollution impact on wildlife and special qualities of the AONB

– chemical, particulate run-off from vehicles/construction activities/ concrete batching plant into extremely sensitive water systems

–  noise-impact on rare wildlife and special qualities of AONB


  – from pollution mentioned above

– low-level radiation

– emergency planning difficulties

– impact on emergency services, doctors’ surgeries, hospitals as swamped by additional workers (incl 1,000+ for a SZB outage)

– ability of ambulances & fire engines to operate normally


  – impact on walkers, bird-watchers, cyclists, horse-riders from traffic and construction activities

– closure of Heritage Coast Path

– closure of footpaths and bridleways

– local travel restrictions


   Leiston Abbey

– the Old Abbey site

– Coastguard cottages, Dunwich Heath

– Listed buildings

National Policy

  – no effective NPS EN6 for new nuclear

– no energy white paper

– no public consultation since 2007/8 on need for nuclear, despite promises

– Paris Agreement implications

– recommendation from National Infrastructure Commission (only one more nuclear after HPC)

– IPCC recommendation to halve carbon output by 2030

– 25-year environment plan- SZC fails on most/all of 10 key aims  


   EDF’s precarious financial position

– need for RAB or similar to build, meaning the £20 billion cost, plus the risk of cost-overruns, will be borne by consumers/tax payers

– so much more expensive than electricity from renewables


  – true life-cycle carbon footprint of new nuclear much higher than industry/IPCC say

– SZC’s carbon footprint > twice that of Hinkley Point C (HPC) although EDF say SZC is virtually a replica of HPC


  – potential that possible restrictions on public gatherings/shielding/ lack of access to libraries etc might compromise the ability of many to fully engage in the DCO process