The energy giant announced on Tuesday (November 30th) that the application is being made now so that if planning permission is granted for the power station itself, the necessary infrastructure will be in place to allow construction to start as early as possible.
The application comes despite Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council both recently voicing their opposition to the controversial scheme and raising “significant objections” to the location, design and scale of the development.
An application is also being made shortly to the Marine Management Organisation for a new jetty at the Hinkley Point C site.
The application to West Somerset District Council relates mainly to earthworks to form a series of terraces to prepare for construction should permission to construct be granted. This includes the removal of a number of hedgerows and some woodland and grassland.
The company is also seeking permission to begin drainage works, install new fencing, re-route existing underground services, provide a site access road and create internal roads for construction traffic.
The plans have been outlined in EDF Energy’s consultations on its proposals, which included public exhibitions and discussions with a range of local organisations including community, environmental and archaeological groups plus residents.
The local authority will carry out further consultations on this application before deciding whether or not to grant consent. EDF Energy has undertaken to reinstate the Hinkley site in the event that main consent fails to be secured. It is possible that the application will be decided in the Spring.
EDF Energy’s Director of Planning and External Affairs for Nuclear New Build Richard Mayson said in a statement on Tuesday: “This application marks a key stage in our project and if consented, will be important in facilitating the construction of the power station itself, which would supply low carbon electricity to five million homes.”
“We have been discussing our plans with key local stakeholders before submitting our application. We recognise that as well as the many benefits that a new power station will bring to the area, there will also be an impact locally. We will ensure that any significant adverse effects are appropriately mitigated in a way which is environmentally responsible and sensitive both to the needs of the community and to the strategies of the relevant local authorities.”
“A key feature of these works is that they are designed to support the timetable for the future construction of the power station, ensuring that disruption to local communities is kept to minimum and will support our aim of generating low carbon electricity from our first new reactor at Hinkley Point in 2018.”
The Hinkley Point site has been identified as being strategically suitable for nuclear new build by the Government in their draft National Policy Statement.
The site has also been the subject of a previous planning consent for new nuclear, following a public inquiry into the suitability of the site in 1990. The Government has advised that local authorities can determine site preparation works application in advance of main construction activity.