Today EDF announced that they have submitted the Sizewell C Development Consent Order (DCO) application to build twin EPR nuclear reactors on the fragile Suffolk coast, to the national Planning Inspectorate (PINS). The application flies in the face of the request from 54 town and parish councils, numerous organisations and individuals calling for EDF to defer this application until the restrictions placed on us all due to the coronavirus pandemic are lifted. TASC have been, and remain, concerned that EDF will use the prohibition on meetings, the need for social distancing and the necessity for many to self-isolate as shielded individuals, to their advantage as these will limit the public’s ability to fully engage in the DCO process. TASC Chair, Pete Wilkinson, has today written to all Suffolk County Councillors calling on them to let their hearts rule their heads and reject this damaging project.
Now the DCO has been submitted, Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council both have 14 days to advise PINS whether they consider EDF to have carried out the consultation process adequately. TASC and many others have advised PINS, and the councils, about the woeful inadequacies of EDF’s consultation process- for those who have yet to voice their consultation concerns there is still time to email PINS and the councils, for details see https://tasizewellc.org.uk/index.php/submissions-and-reports/318-edf-s-dco-pre-application-for-sizewell-c.
PINS then have a further 14 days, ie 28 days from now, to say, based on the strength of the consultation and the content of the DCO documentation, whether the application is accepted. If the DCO application is accepted, then 29 days from now the Pre Examination phase is due to start. It is at this stage the public and organisations are invited to register with the Planning Inspectorate to become an Interested Party by making a Relevant Representation. A Relevant Representation is a summary of a person’s views on the application, made in writing. EDF have graciously said that they may allow 12 weeks for this period, which is not the concession they would like you to think it is, as, according to PINS, the Pre Examination phase normally lasts 3 months anyway!
More information about the DCO planning process can be found on the PINS website at:-
For those who may wish to appraise themselves with many of the issues involved, we have provided below links to the 3rd Stage Consultation responses from TASC, the Environment Agency, RSPB and Suffolk Wildlife Trust as well as to the Secretary of State’s 2014 and 2019 Sizewell C scoping opinions :-