Published: January 20, 2012
Will Burnham-On-Sea be able to cope with influx of Hinkley workers?

Town councillors have expressed concerns regarding the potential impact that extra construction workers at the proposed Hinkley Point C will have on Burnham-On-Sea's resources.

EDF's planned development of a new nuclear power station is a worry for some Burnham councillors, who say they fear that accommodating large numbers of workers may hit the town's tourism industry and put a strain on doctors and police services.

The comments were raised at this month's Burnham and Highbridge Town Council meeting by a small group of councillors who have been studying the energy firm's plans in detail.

Cllr Chris Williams said it is not yet known how much additional money will be available to enable services such as health, dentists and schools to cope with the influx of hundreds of workers.

He told the meeting: "If a large number of extra workers come into the Burnham area we are going to need extra resources. Each organisation, such as health services, dentists and schools, all operate individually but in a team to try and get an integrated scheme, but we do not yet know how much money will be available for the town. The police say at the moment there will be no extra resources."

And, writing on, Cllr Helen Groves added: "Both EDF and all levels of local government accept that one of the most immediate impacts will be a reduction of availability of affordable housing. It is expected 'by EDF' that their workforce will purchase this and occupy the lower end of the rental market. EDF have put forward a number of proposals to attempt to address this including potential investment for construction of affordable/social housing or/and making available funding to the local authority for investment into its own housing stock to bring voids back into use. Other impacts are expected to be upon transport, education, medical services etc."

"This area will host a high number of the EDF workforce. Should we simply pretend this will not have an effect? Or is it better to work with EDF SDC and SCC to try to make sure that the impact is reduced by proper investment to support the workforce?"


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