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posted 30 Jan 2012, 04:31 by Westover Labour
EDF Energy,have announced that they are  to spend £30 million to mitigate the impact of preparatory works at Hinkley Point C . Support for local housing, leisure facilities, transport and local ecology schemes being just some of the ways in which they say that Somerset residents will benefit.

 The company has signed an agreement with West Somerset Council and a local landownerwhich will see the energy company providing £30 million to mitigate the impacts of the works to prepare the site for the proposed Hinkley Point C power station.

 The site preparation works will include fencing, drainage, excavation and earthworks. West Somerset Council resolved to grantplanning permission on 28 July 2011, subject to this legal agreement and a number of planning conditions. EDF say that the programme of work has been "carefully planned to keep disruption to local communities to a minimum"

 EDF claim that up to 150 new local jobs will be created as part of a contract signed with construction firm Kier Bam who will undertake the preparatory works.  Work is expected to start in February, building up to the earthworks later this year.

The EDF press release reads as follow;-

The funding will pay for a wide range of measures for Somerset residents including:

A £4million fund for housing and the creation of an accommodation office to provide a service to local people and businesses who wish to offer accommodation to the future construction workforce

£2 million to bolster local leisure facilities, with Cannington, Stogursey and Bridgwater each earmarked to receive £500,000

Over £4 million to support local skills and training

Over £1.8 million to support services provided by the local authorities

Transport improvements at Washford Cross and Sandford Hill roundabouts, the junction of A39/A38 Taunton Road and traffic calming measures in Cannington.

Over £1.8 million to improve community safety

£7.2 million for Community Impact Mitigation, including £500,000 each for Stogursey, the parish closest to the site, and Cannington, £1 million for Sedgemoor District and £2 million for West Somerset District

£250,000 to create ecology habitat

Over £600,000 to support economic development

£300,000 to provide educational resources and inspire interest in science and technology

£60,000 to support local health services

£450,000 to mitigate any impact on local archaeology

£610,000 to pay for landscape and visual improvements near the construction site

£700,000 to support local tourism

 EDF Energy will set aside a separate fund to ensure that the site can be reinstated in the event that full planning permission is not granted for the power station. Richard Mayson, EDF Energy’s Director of Planning and External Affairs for Nuclear New Build, said:

 “This is a landmark deal for the people of Somerset. We are proud to be part of the local community and conscious of our responsibilities. The planned power station at Hinkley Point C is a project of national significance and will provide low carbon electricity for 5 million homes.

 “We are very aware of the impacts the preparatory works will have on the local area, so we have worked very hard with the local authority to identify and mitigate the impacts and bring forward improvements to local services and facilities for residents in West Somerset and beyond. We are aware of our responsibilities and the Councils also have a duty to ensure that the funding is effectively deployed to achieve the desired effect.” 

The planning permission for the preparatory work was granted by West Somerset Council in advance of EDF Energy applying last October for a Development Consent Order for the new station. The DCO application will be examined by the Infrastructure Planning Commission over the coming months.

 The mitigation spend in relation to the DCO application exceeds £500 million, including investment in services and transport infrastructure that will leave a lasting benefit for the community.   

 EDF claim that  independent research shows that the Hinkley Point C project will inject £100 million per year into the local economy during peak construction and £40 million a year during its 60-year operation.

Leader of Sedgemoor Labour Group, Cllr Mick Lerry (Left), said "The proposed Power Station project will bring benefits to Bridgwater. The Labour Group of councillors on Sedgemoor are working hard to make sure that Bridgwater people don't miss out on business opportunities, Employment training and economic growth, but at the same time there is a need to protect Bridgwater from the  impact on Housing and accommodation road infrastructure  and traffic congestion. All parties on Sedgemoor have been pressing EDF for a Northern by-Pass and will continue to do so."


Safety concerns to the whole project have been highlighted by the STOP HINKLEY group who presented their case to the Infrastructure Planning Commission this week.

Stop Hinkley Campaign Presents Submission to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC)

EdF is applying to build the first of a new generation of 8 nuclear power stations in the UK at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

Stop Hinkley presented the IPC with a  copy of a 13,000 signature petition collected in Somerset saying "we do not want Hinkley C."

Stop Hinkley's submission to the IPC covers a range of subjects:

  • Democracy -The IPC is not allowing any debate on Nuclear Power in its enquiry. Nikki Clarke, a Stop Hinkley campaigner, says, " In a post Fukushima world, not being able to question the legitimacy of nuclear power is undemocratic."
  • Transport - EdF's transport plans are dangerous. Motorway accidents and summer traffic often cause total gridlock on the local road infrastructure through Bridgwater and junctions 23 and 24 of the M5. The additional construction traffic at one HGV every 40 seconds is untenable.
  • Emergency Plans - If an emergency situation should arise, the Evacuation Zone would include Bristol , Taunton , Glastonbury and Exmoor . Emergency plans are unclear, and lack detail; even current emergency plans for Hinkley B are not known to the public.