Energy company EDF plays down N-plant funding for Sizewell
ENERGY giant EDF is urging caution over speculation that the Suffolk coastal area will receive a multi-million pound boost as compensation for preparatory work if plans for a new nuclear power station go ahead.
The company has agreed a �30million package with the local authority at Hinkley Point, in Somerset, where the first of the UK's new nuclear power stations is to be built.
The money is to be spent on local housing, leisure facilities, transport and wildlife initiatives. It is aimed at compensating residents for the disruption caused during work to prepare the nuclear site for power station construction.
It is hoped the Suffolk coastal area would also be in line for a sizeable figure should Sizewell C be given the green light.
But an EDF spokesman said yesterday: 'It would be wrong and inaccurate to simply take information from the Hinkley Point C planning process, such as the mitigation provision, and draw direct parallels across to what may happen at Sizewell.
'The two are separate projects in different environments and require distinct solutions.'
The spokesman added: 'The Sizewell C project is at a very early stage. We plan to launch our first stage of public consultations on our initial proposals for Sizewell C later this year.'
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West Somerset District Council decided in July last year to grant planning permission for a Hinkley Point C power station subject to various conditions, including a legal agreement over compensation for disturbance caused by preparatory works.
EDF has pledged to keep disruption to local communities to a minimum during the works, which began in February, creating 150 jobs.
Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for roads, transport and planning, said: 'Local communities can rest assured that the county and district councils are already working together to mitigate the environmental impact of any future development at Sizewell while maximising the economic and social benefits created for our communities.'
Andy Smith, Suffolk Coastal's cabinet member for planning, said: 'We are looking to ensure that on the one hand pressures from the development, particularly construction, are mitigated to the very best degree possible, and on the other that the long-term benefits to east Suffolk are maximised.
'Through our joint committee with the county council we want to see a sizeable cash sum available to Leiston and nearby villages directly affected, for community-level projects to compensate for the unavoidable disturbance which will be part of such a major project.'
Tony Cooper, chairman of Leiston-Cum-Sizewell Town Council, said they would be pressing for funding to compensate the community for the disturbance caused.