Increase in rail and sea deliveries as EDF announce changes to Sizewell plans

  • Video report by ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey

A series of changes have been made to plans for a new nuclear power station in Suffolk to try and reduce its impact on the environment.

Energy company EDF said it had listened to concerns about the Sizewell C project and has contacted the Planning Inspectorate with a number of improvements.

The proposed changes include:

  • Increasing rail and sea deliveries during construction to reduce the number of HGVs on local roads.

  • Reducing the use of Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) land on the Sizewell estate by working closely with Sizewell A, which is being decommissioned.

  • The creation of fen meadow.

An image of what the new nuclear power station at Sizewell would look like. Credit: EDF

It follows comments from local authorities and MPs calling for more to be done to mitigate the impact of road traffic on local communities as well as any environmental damage.

Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson, Sizewell C Managing Director, said: "We take the feedback from the councils, MPs and local people extremely seriously and would like to make these updates to our proposals in good time so they can be considered by the planning inspectorate and all interested parties during the next phase of this process.

"We hope these changes will give even greater confidence to local communities that the benefits of this project for Suffolk will far outweigh the potential impacts during construction.”

The public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes during a 30-day consultation which will start on 18 November.

EDF have also unveiled further plans to grow skills and vocational training for young people in Suffolk.

The number of apprenticeships that will be taken on at Sizewell C has been increased from 1,000 to 1,500, and the company's apprenticeship levy will also be allocated to local firms to allow them to take on apprentices.

Campaigners say wildlife habitat would be destroyed by a new power station. Credit: ITV News Anglia

However, campaigners against the project say the changes do not go far enough.

Christine Luxton, Chief Executive of Suffolk Wildlife Trust, said: "Sizewell C would destroy a vast swathe of the Suffolk coastline in one of the most beautiful natural parts of the UK.

"People visit this part of Suffolk from all over the country to enjoy the wild countryside.

"If this vast development gets the go-ahead, an area of the coast the size of 900 football pitches will be directly affected by the development.

"Barn owls, water voles and kingfishers will see their habitat destroyed.

“Nature is already in huge trouble and the sheer scale of this development will make a bad situation much, much worse.

"We will not solve the climate crisis by destroying natural habitats that lock-up carbon. This is the wrong time and the wrong place for such a colossal and damaging development.”