Published: April 22, 2011
New poll shows backing for Hinkley Point community investment

A new poll shows the majority of people in Sedgemoor think that the £100million of investment proposed by EDF Energy as part of its plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point will have a positive impact on the area.

The research shows that 75% of respondents think that EDF's proposed £100m of investment will have an impact, with 53% saying it will have a big impact. Only 9% say the investment will have no impact.

As part of the £100 million investment, EDF Energy has proposed a £20m Community Fund, which was increased from £1 million after consultation.

Almost two thirds of people consider the increased sum to be either about right (54%) or too big (9%), with just 17% saying it is too small. The investment is subject to planning approval being given for Hinkley Point C.

The fund would be allocated by communities and local authorities to invest in areas of priority need. The survey canvassed views on where the money should be spent, with the top issues being: recreational facilities for children and young people; community amenities; education; and transport.

The poll, undertaken by ICM and commissioned by EDF Energy, surveyed more than 1,000 people by telephone between 30th March and 7th April in the Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane and West Somerset districts. The full results are available here.

Meanwhile, traffic chaos and plans for worker accommodation during the construction of the proposed new nuclear power station Hinkley Point C are among local residents' biggest worries about the project, according to responses emerging from a district council-run consultation exercise over the past month.

Sedgemoor has produced a draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) intended to help inform and advise developers, including EDF Energy, in relation to plans for Hinkley Point. The councils held a number of consultation events to see what the public thought of the document.

More than 200 people attended events in six different communities and the councils have received additional comments via their websites, the post and email. In addition, they have been contacting residents by phone to seek their views.

Many of the people expressing views at the SPD events called for a bypass north of Bridgwater but this idea has been discounted by EDF. There are proposals for a new Cannington bypass, three freight facilities and four park and ride sites - although not one next to Burnham-On-Sea's junction 22 of the M5 at this stage.

Last month, Sedgemoor District Council expressed a number of concerns about the Hinkley Point project - as reported by here.

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