and Highbridge councillors raise fresh Hinkley fears
councillors have this week raised fresh concerns about the impact
that the multi-billion pound expansion of Hinkley Point will have
on Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge.
a meeting last night (Monday, September 5th), they quizzed Paul
Wheatley, Sedgemoor District Council's Policy Officer, on some
of the potential traffic, infrastructure and housing issues that
may result from the massive construction project.
Wheatley tried to reassure them that the district council is putting
pressure on EDF Energy not to forget the Burnham-On-Sea area in
its planning of the huge project.
Chris Williams raised fears about construction traffic thundering
through Highbridge along the A38 during the scheduled eight-year
a concern that construction vehicles may travel through residential
areas - have we got an assurance from EDF that no Hinkley construction
traffic will pass along the A38?"
Wheatley was unable to give any guarantees: "I am unable
to give a full assurance, but strict requirements are being put
in place to restrict vehicle movements."
Helen Groves expressed concerns about the lack of extra infrastructure
for the expected influx of thousands of extra Hinkley Point workers
in the area.
Local Development Framework has factored in an increase of people,
but Burnham and Highbridge's existing infrastructure won't support
a big expansion in population," said Cllr Groves. "There
needs to be more investment in local services."
Wheatley agreed, saying: "At Sedgemoor District Council we
do recognise this and are continuing to stress to EDF that their
strategy must consider the short, medium and long-term impact
on services like drains, roads and utilities."
Ken Smout said he is concerned about the unclear schedule surrounding
the Hinkley Point proposals, adding: "We've never seen a
timeline that clearly shows when the work will start to impact
Burnham and Highbridge."
Mr Wheatley agreed, saying: "We have never received
a detailed breakdown from EDF Energy for the work it is planning.
EDF have not been forthcoming at all, but we continue to keep
up the pressure for timings."
Neville Jones said at Monday's meeting he is disappointed that
the previously-considered proposals for a park and ride facility
for Hinkley staff at Burnham's junction 22 of the M5 now appear
to be "a dead duck."
added: "I have recently been told that EDF expects Hinkley
workers to be travelling from towns such as Weston and Clevedon,
so Burnham is ideally positioned for such facilities."
should be looking at Hinkley in isolation. There will be plenty
of other big construction projects in Bridgwater underway at the
same time that will add more pressure onto junction 23 where the
parking facilities are planned. There will be building work for
a new hospital, a new swimming pool, two new schools and 2,000
homes. It makes our case for junction 22 even more imperative."
Mr Wheatley said he did not believe any proposals for extra parking
facilities for EDF staff in Burnham.
In March, Sedgemoor District Council expressed a number of concerns
about the Hinkley Point expansion, as reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com
the proposed new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point are given the
final go-ahead by the government, EDF says enough power for around
five million homes or six per cent of the UK's total power supply
will be generated.