EDF Energy welcomes today’s confirmation by the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) that its application for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset, and associated development, has been accepted and will now be taken forward for examination.
The IPC has published the Development Consent Order application on its website – http://infrastructure.independent.gov.uk/projects/south-west/hinkley-point-c-new-nuclear-power-station/
Printed copies will shortly be made available for public inspection at EDF Energy’s Bridgwater Office, West Somerset and Sedgemoor District Council offices and at Taunton Library on behalf of Somerset County Council. A ‘navigation document’ has been produced to accompany the documentation to assist people in reviewing the detailed submission.
Now that the application has been accepted, EDF Energy will publish notices in local and national newspapers to explain how and when to register interest in the application and make formal representations to the IPC.
The examination and decision making process is expected to take about a year.
In addition to EDF Energy and Centrica’s plans to build and operate two nuclear reactors capable of producing low carbon electricity for five million homes, the submission includes plans for:
- A £20m community fund to be spent locally on a range of community initiatives,
- A £5m housing fund to support housing for the local area through refurbishment of vacant or substandard properties and to provide loans to help local people get onto the housing ladder,
- Funds totalling £40 million to provide skills and training, environmental, education, leisure, health and emergency services and to contribute to other road improvements in Bridgwater,
- Four park and ride facilities, two freight management facilities, refurbishment of a wharf, a temporary jetty and a programme of highways improvements, as part of a transport strategy designed to reduce traffic on local roads,
- A bypass to the west of Cannington, and
- An on-site accommodation campus and two accommodation campuses in Bridgwater for construction workers
The application, which was submitted by EDF Energy to the IPC on 31 October, is the culmination of three years of extensive informal engagement and formal consultation. During the formal consultation, EDF Energy directly engaged with almost 6,500 consultees, held 34 public exhibitions and 67 meetings with local authorities and other stakeholder groups, and attracted 109,000 visitors to its project website. More than 2,000 formal responses were received, from which 33,000 comments were processed in a detailed consultation report, which forms part of the application.
The feedback from consultation helped EDF Energy to improve its plans, better to reflect the needs and wishes of local people. Changes include: smaller accommodation campuses for workers; relocating a park and ride site near Williton; smaller park and ride sites at Cannington and Williton and dropping plans for accommodation campuses at those locations; improved landscaping; moving the construction boundary further away from local homes; new transport schemes; increased community support and voluntary noise mitigation schemes in some communities.
EDF Energy Chief Executive, Vincent de Rivaz said: This submission follows one of the largest consultations of its kind. We hope that the quality and comprehensiveness of our application will help to set a benchmark for others proposing major infrastructure projects. Our plans for Hinkley Point C comprise a project representing an investment in British infrastructure of the same order as the London 2012 Olympics.
“Earlier this year we saw the National Policy Statements establish the key planning framework for the consenting processes for new nuclear, both nationally and locally. They provide the bodies involved with a clear legal and political basis to develop nuclear as part of the transition to a low carbon energy system.
“The acceptance of our application today is another major milestone as we move ahead with our new nuclear build programme. However, we move ahead alongside the community that we’re a part of and we will continue to consult and listen in the spirit of openness and transparency that is at the cornerstone of our commitments.
“Over the next 12 months as we move closer to making our final investment decision, we will continue to develop the supply chain and continue our work to cultivate the skills and training that will transform the nuclear industry in the UK to become a world leader.”
Richard Mayson, EDF Energy’s Director of Planning and External Affairs, Nuclear New Build said:
“We approach this project with great awareness of our responsibility – to local communities, to our customers, to the government, and to our shareholders. We have undertaken one of the largest consultation programmes ever carried out in this country and we have carefully considered every comment we have received. We have made changes to a number of aspects – including employee accommodation and traffic proposals – to reflect local concerns, and have put in place mitigation measures.
“As with any project of this scale and complexity, we have not been able to satisfy everyone with our proposals. However we have presented and explained our proposals and changed some aspects of our plans as a direct result of our consultation with local people and explained why it has not been possible to change other aspects which may have been requested. We are very grateful to everyone who participated in our consultation and for their contribution to the process which has helped to shape our plans.”