THE APPLICATION to build Sizewell C, a new nuclear power station in Suffolk, has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.
If approved, Sizewell C will supply energy to around six million homes.
The Development Consent Order application was deferred for two months in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances created by the coronavirus.
Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson CBE, Managing Director of Sizewell C, commented on the news: “Sizewell C is a net zero infrastructure project ready to kick-start the economy following the Coronavirus crisis.
“It will offer thousands of high-quality job opportunities and long-term employment for people living in Suffolk and it will strengthen the nuclear supply chain across the country.
“On top of the economic benefits, Sizewell C will avoid 9 million tonnes of CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere each year.
“The project will play a key role in lowering emissions while helping the UK keep control of its low carbon future.”
According to EDF, extra measures will be put in place to make it easier for local communities to scrutinise the proposals once they are published.
These include extending the pre-examination period to allow more time for interested parties to register with the Planning Inspectorate.
In April, leaders of East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council wrote to EDF, urging them to fully consider how and when they will consult with local communities as part of the planning process.
This concern was echoed by sixty leading business people, artists and well-known public figures who wrote to Business Secretary Alok Sharma asking for action to delay the application to build Sizewell C until after the coronavirus crisis is over.
At the time, an EDF spokesperson commented: “EDF announced a delay to the Sizewell C planning application on March 26 because of the coronavirus.
“We understand the need for all interested parties to participate in the examination of our planning application, and fully encourage them to do so.
“It is important to stress that the examination stage of the planning application process is unlikely to commence for approximately 5-6 months.
“Two stages have to happen first – the Planning Inspectorate has to undertake a 28-day internal assessment.
“It then runs a pre-examination phase when people are encouraged to read the proposals online or in leaflets EDF will distribute.
“This lasts at least a further 28 days, but EDF will ask the Planning Inspectorate to extend it to provide more time than usual.
“Only after this will the Planning inspectorate begin an examination phase to seek feedback from consultees.
Sizewell C will be a near replica of Hinkley Point C in Somerset.
According to EDF, using the same design means Sizewell C will ‘benefit from significantly reduced construction costs and lower risk, while innovative financing has the potential to reduce costs even further.’
The application for a Development Consent Order follows four rounds of public consultation which began in 2012.
More than 10,000 residents and organisations in Suffolk have contributed their views and helped to shape the final proposals.
John Dugmore, Chief Executive of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, added: “Sizewell C’s Development Consent Order application is momentous for businesses and residents in Suffolk.
“It will boost training and employment opportunities across the county and attract investment to regenerate rural areas and towns.”
Full details of the planning process can be found here