East Suffolk Council will continue to seek the best possible outcome for its residents as proposals for a new nuclear power station at Sizewell are progressed.
Councillors discussed a report at Full Council on 3 September, which presents the authority’s emerging views on EDF’s proposals.
The Council’s priority is to ensure, should the Sizewell C new nuclear power station be granted consent by the Secretary of State, that the best possible outcome is achieved for local communities, by virtue of maximising benefits, minimising adverse impacts, and achieving mitigation and compensatory measures for the district.
Members took the opportunity to ask questions about the proposed approach and Cabinet will now consider the points raised, alongside responses received from parishes and communities.
As part of the DCO process, all interested parties must submit their views on the project (Relevant Representations) to the Planning Inspectorate by 30 September so that the Examiners can consider all issues and prepare an Examination of the proposal.
The Council’s draft report considers EDF’s submission to the Planning Inspectorate for consent to build the new facility and the discussion at Full Council followed an undertaking by Council Leader, Cllr Steve Gallant, at Full Council in July, that all councillors should be given an opportunity to comment on the Council’s submission.
Cllr Craig Rivett, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and deputy Leader said: "The final decision regarding the construction of a new facility is the government's to take, however we know that many people in our communities have concerns which must be recognised. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that we discuss these concerns with councillor colleagues and our communities.
"After a really constructive debate, we are clear that we will continue to work pro-actively with EDF, the government and all stakeholders and communities to get the best possible outcome for East Suffolk. This includes full mitigation of our concerns, or if they cannot be fully addressed, fully funded programmes to further compensate any adverse impacts.
“There are positives to the scheme in relation to the local economy and skills, however the impacts on our habitat and landscape cannot be overlooked and we will work closely with EDF and other stakeholders to address a range of outstanding issues.”
East Suffolk Council’s Relevant Representation will be considered by Cabinet on 21 September and, if agreed, it will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by the 30 September. Receipt of Relevant Representations from all parties to the Planning Inspectorate is the start of the process that will continue through a formal Examination period which East Suffolk Council will take part in, before the Planning Inspectorate’s Examining Authority submit a report to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who will make the final decision.