Welcome to Stage 4 of EDF's Sizewell C (SZC) proposed dual EPR development.

EDF having denied, for 3 consultation stages, that a jetty and other developments on the SZC frontage could potentially affect sediment and gravel transport to the south at Thorpeness, Aldeburgh, Slaughden, Orfordness and beyond, they have now admitted that as they saw effects during the Sizewell B development, that the much longer (800 metre, 1200 pile) jetty was likely to cause a reduction in coastal sediment and gravel transport to the south of the Sizewell frontage.

It is greatly to be regretted that EDF have taken so long to admit to the reality of this effect. It can only be presumed that the need to persuade the planning inspectorate and government that the decision to drop the jetty and marine delivery strategy was for environmental reasons and was not simply for financial and timescale issues.

This still leaves many issues from the Stage 3 consultation that are simply not addressed at all in this Stage 4 consultation. These include;

  • An inadequate Hard Coastal Defence Structure that does not reach mean spring low tide level (3.5 metres short), necessary to avoid tidal undercutting of the defence
  • Negligible understanding of the relationship and interactions between surface and ground water
  • Issues with potential long-term pollution from materials buried in the borrow pits
  • Poor modelling of coastal breach interactions with the flood cells behind the sacrificial dunes and into the Minsmere Levels north of the site and Sizewell Marsh
  • Potential impacts upon the Minsmere Sluice and Leiston Drain should breach conditions cause permanent scouring around the Beach Landing Facility and SSSI crossing
  • Potential changes to the ground water level west of the platform within Sizewell Marsh that have been a permanent legacy from the Sizewell B construction
  • Meeting the requirements from the Environment Agency in their Stage 3 response (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sizewell-c-response-to-edf-energy-stage-3-consultation) is only minimally addressed in this consultation

More recently, a CEFAS representative on Sizewell Beach commented that the 2018/19 winter had seen unprecedented scouring and re-deposition of beach materials in front of Sizewell. This clearly demonstrates that despite EDF observing that the Sizewell frontage is a very quiet stretch of coast compared to areas both north and south of its location, changes in weather and sea conditions, that are occurring around us on this sinking and eroding coast, can surprise even those whose job it has been for many years to observe this part of the coast.

So, come to the MLSG/TEAGS/B1122 parallel exhibitions at Leiston, Yoxford and Woodbridge this week or meet us at Theberton Village Hall, Darsham Village Hall opening or Middleton Fete where we will be putting the alternate view of this development. Details at https://teags.org/exhibition/

Finally, there will be a public meeting at Theberton Church on September 14th, 10:00 – 12:00, where along with Theberton and Eastbridge Parish Council we will be discussing the Stage 4 Consultation and will also have a guest speaker from Hinkley Point to give us his view of EDF’s transition from consultation to reality in the west country.