The site plans have been updated for the Stage 3 Consultation are reflected in this poster using a reference Ordnance Survey map. The overall construction site will sever in two the Sizewell Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) for at least 10 years and it will take many more years to restore the land to fully functioning new habitat.
The main changes are to remove one of the potential borrow pits from west of the Eastbridge Road and to keep the proposed 2,400 bed campus to East of Eastbridge Road.
Proposals to convert some existing agricultural land to Lowland Heath habitat, 5.5 hectares of 10 metre deep peat swamp within Sizewell Marsh SSSI that has developed over a period of 6000+ years, wet woodland and fen meadow will be lost forever. The long term consequences of unavoidable changes to the hydrology of Sizewell Marsh SSSI will damage the remaining swamp and surrounding areas as current water levels are disturbed. We know that changes to Sizewell Marsh SSSI occurred during Sizewell B construction and that these changes persist to today.
Plans to remove excavated material to Wallasea Island can no longer be used as this development is complete and all the facilities for bringing material ashore there have been removed.
The removal of the temporary jetty at Sizewell have also meant that no incoming construction materials or outgoing materials, unsuitable for construction, can be transported by sea and thus three borrow pits at the north of the construction site will be used to excavate materials suitable for construction and these pits will be back-filled with unsuitable materials from the power station platform, leading to an increased risk of long term pollution of the Minsmere Levels as the borrow pits are within the Minsmere catchment.
The impervious nature of the 240 hectare construction site, the 50 hectare power station platform and causeway/culvert SSSI crossing will disturb the natural hydrology of the existing AONB, Sizewell Marsh SSSI and Minsmere & Walberswick SSSI sites. Captured run-off, following treatment to remove any contamination, will either be allowed to drain through permeable Water Management Zones in very constricted areas or pumped into drainage ditches.
Data provided by EDF in the Preliminary Environmental Impact assessments in the Stage 3 Consultation has so far failed to convince any of the statutory and specialist consultees (Suffok County Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Environment Agency, AONB, RSPB, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, etc.) that EDF have learned enough to be able to manage potential surface and groundwater interactions with Minsmere Levels or Sizewell Marsh despite the Secretary of State in the 2014 Scoping Opinion clearly calling for EDF to understand these interactions as part of their Environmental Impact Assessment. The disturbance of the natural hydrology of the area has potentially very damaging consequences for the both SSSI sites, the AONB and from time to time the effectiveness of the Sizewell Drain and Minsmere Sluice.
EDF have now submitted an updated request for a Scoping Opinion based on the new proposals given in the Stage 3 Consultation but have clearly done so before fully analysing the feedback from all the consultees and responses made by the residents and local population. As a result, calls for a rethink on the route for a Sizewell Relief Road from the A12 have simply been ignored, despite significant calls for reconsideration from Suffolk County Council and others in the local area.
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We continue to work with Theberton and Eastbridge Action Group on Sizewell (TEAGS) www.teags.org and will participate and contribute to their efforts leading up to, during and after the consultation period.