EDF has now submitted its planning application for Sizewell C.
The Society is very concerned that The Planning Inspectorate is proceeding with its examination of this whilst we are in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are therefore writing to them expressing our views, the substantive content of which is set out below.
The Aldeburgh Society is the civic society for the historic coastal town and cultural centre of Aldeburgh. The objects of the Society are to encourage public interest in and care for the character of the town and its surroundings, and the preservation, development and improvement of general public amenity in the area.
The Society wishes to express its opposition to the application by EDF for Development Consent for the construction of two new nuclear reactors at Sizewell in present circumstances, while coronavirus lockdown restrictions are in place precluding the normal conduct of a Planning Inspectorate Examination. The proposed development is enormously controversial, and the fullest possible provision must be made for all aspects and views to be considered. This is particularly important since the Planning Inspectorate are already charged with examining the application by Scottish Power Renewables (SPR) for the development of two offshore windfarms and their onshore infrastructure, which would seriously impact the same geographical area of Suffolk.
We accept that the location of the proposed new nuclear power station has been determined by the Government, and we understand the logic of co-locating it with the existing nuclear facilities at Sizewell. The Society has no collective view for or against nuclear power, and it supports the Government’s net zero target for energy production. However, it views with great concern the damage to the Suffolk heritage coast, its environment, its society and its economy, which the construction of this very large industrial project would entail. If there were no existing nuclear power station on this coast, the proposal to develop one here would be unthinkable in today’s heightened awareness of environmental issues.
The Sizewell site is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, adjacent to a major national nature reserve at Minsmere. While extensive public consultations were carried out over the last four years, we understand that concerns raised by the Environment Agency, the Marine Management Organisation and Natural England have still not been fully addressed.
We are greatly concerned that the very large volumes of construction materials required for a project of this size would have to be delivered over a rural roads system, causing environmental damage, noise and disruption to the whole area. More environmentally friendly options for delivery of materials by rail or sea appear to be largely ruled out. It is unacceptable that plans for the management of this traffic have not been agreed with the local authorities. The simultaneous application by SPR, involving further major pressures on the same local infrastructure, makes a coherent integrated approach indispensable.
The construction project would inevitably have a seriously damaging effect upon the tourism business and the cultural offerings for which Aldeburgh is renowned and upon which its local economy is largely based. We therefore urge the Planning Inspectorate to pause the examination of the Sizewell C application until the pandemic lockdown is eased sufficiently to allow a normal full consultative process.
19 June 2020
The Chair has written to Dr Crockett of the Peninsula Practice in respect of concerns raised by members about medical provision in Aldeburgh principally caused by the current crisis and the need for infection control. Although we have not had an answer as such, things should improve once the Covid-19 restrictions are removed. The letter and Dr Crockett’s video are below along with the recent proposals to do more in Aldeburgh surgery.
Please click on the button to see the latest report from our local District Councillors on what is going on in East Suffolk.
Energy Projects: Scottish Power EA1N and EA2 windfarm projects
The Planning Hearings were postponed-and we are keeping a watching brief.
For information about latest developments: please see the websites of the various action groups – these are set out below:
Anglian Energy Planning Alliance: https://anglianenergyplanningalliance.com
We were very sorry to have to cancel the talk on March 13th by Cllr Andrewes of St Ives but rather relieved we made the decision when we did. We also postponed our latest Committee meeting which was due to take place on 13th March (that Friday!). We continue our activities virtually via email. We have of course postponed the Pump House Party from 29th May to a date to be announced. We will be in touch about arrangements for the AGM but there is no regulatory problem with this being delayed.
We are all aware of how difficult things are because of the virus and the closure of so many services. We have collected information from a number of sources and hope it is useful.
Aldeburgh Services and information re COVID-19
Aldeburgh Town Council
The Council is working hard to coordinate the response to Covid -19. The website has a letter from the Mayor about important services and help and links to various other sites. See https://www.aldeburghtowncouncil.co.uk/
There is an excellent Facebook group Aldeburgh Covid 19 and vulnerable people support group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/515536379374292/
AGNES is the main volunteering organisation that Aldeburgh residents are being encouraged to work with. If you, or anyone you know needs help, perhaps to collect a prescription or some basic provisions, please contact them on 07773 031064. It also needs volunteers and if interested please contact Susan Henderson by email firstname.lastname@example.org or landline 01728 454943. See https://www.aldeburghtowncouncil.co.uk/?page_id=3768
Aldeburgh Business Association
The Business Association is sharing as many Facebook posts from town businesses that it can, from all businesses not just or members. They have suspended our fees for the next year to support the town. They are sending out newsletters as and when we can.They have also produced an excellent newsletter outlining what steps businesses can take to access government support- ABA website: https://www.aldeburghsuffolk.com/.
Community Action Suffolk Covid 19 https://www.aldeburghtowncouncil.co.uk/?p=3816
Info about another volunteer network
NHS call for volunteers
Aldeburgh Town Council has submitted an excellent response to the Stage 4 consultation. This can be found here. (8Mb)
We continue to respond and encourage you to respond to the various consultations in respect of the major infrastructure projects, Sizewell C and the SPR East Anglia windfarms and the new interconnectors. We remain deeply concerned at their possible negative impact on Aldeburgh and its coast and in particular worry that, if all are allowed to go ahead, the traffic consequences for Aldeburgh will be seriously detrimental. You may be interested to see the views of the ANGLIAN ENERGY PLANNING ALLIANCE and Suffolk Energy Action Solutions (SEAS) umbrella groups which are concerned that we cannot cope with so may uncoordinated projects at the same time. We feel that government should take a proactive role in ensuring that energy projects such as these are carried out in a planned and coordinated way.
Our draft response to the Sizewell C Consultation can be found HERE.
The Aldeburgh Society has written to Barclays and Therese Coffey, MP to object to the closure of the branch in Aldeburgh High Street noting that this move will adversely affect the vulnerable and in particular the elderly, many of whom cannot get to Leiston and many of whom are not on the internet.
We also pointed out that the cash dispenser in Barclays is the only one in the centre of the Town which is open 24 hours, that the one inside the Post Office can only be used when the Post Office is open and that a busy holiday town like Aldeburgh surely needs a 24 hours cash facility in its High Street where for example all the shops are open on a Sunday.
Barclays are not prepared to reconsider the decision to close but are amenable to discussing the placing of the ATM in another Aldeburgh High Street retail outlet.
We have relayed this to the Town Council and the Aldeburgh Business Association.
We wrote a second time to send Barclays the petition signed by so many Aldeburgh residents and collected by Baggotts. Our letter is here
Barclays have reiterated that they will not reconsider and have explained that they are running “Tea and Tech” sessions at the Branch and at the Fairfield Centre.
Barclays’ letter is here:
They have sent us details of the sessions which are as follows:
21st Feb 2019 at the Fairfield centre
5th March 2019 at the Aldeburgh Branch
21ST March 2019 at the Fairfield centre
11th April at the Fairfield Centre
All events start from 10:00am.