Sizewell C update: June 2021

Sizewell nuclear power stations (photo: Sarah Groves)

Suffolk Wildlife Trust submitted our joint Written Representations with the RSPB on the 2nd June.

A summary of key concerns can be found here.

In our Written Representations we covered in detail many issues that are of concern to us. We do not believe that EDF have justified the loss of such a large area of Sizewell Marshes SSSI. The equivalent of around 10 football pitches of nationally protected wildlife rich habitat will be lost forever, covered by concrete, roads and buildings, despite that fact there is an alternative available that would lead to considerably lower loss.

We are also concerned that the development will fundamentally alter the groundwater within the remaining SSSI. EDF’s plans are to replace this with more surface water which, as it receives water from Leiston Sewage works, is of significantly poorer quality. This is very likely to harm large areas of nationally important fen habitat, home to many rare plants.

There remains considerable uncertainty how the development will affect Minsmere to the north and we stand side by side with our friends at the RSPB in seeking re-assurances that this famous reserve will be unharmed.

Vegetated shingle on Sizewell Beach - Steve Aylward

Vegetated shingle on Sizewell Beach - Steve Aylward

We remain unconvinced that the impact on the coastline is fully understood. It is possible the development will significantly increase erosion to the north and south, again placing great risk to Minsmere and other valuable habitats locally. The area is home to a number of nationally important populations of rare species, including barbastelle bat and natterjack toad. We have pushed hard to further improve mitigation and despite some improvements, EDF need to do more to ensure the survival of these species.

Natterjack toad - Philip Precey

Natterjack toad - Philip Precey

Moving forward, we are working closely with RSPB and Friends of the Earth, using national experts to help inform our position and where appropriate, help represent us at future hearings during the Examination.

The examination is due to conclude on 14 October 2021 and recommendation submitted to the Secretary of State, who then has up to 3 months to make a decision on whether to go ahead or not.

Sizewell Marshes SSSI with Suffolk Wildlife Trust's Charlie McMurray

Standing up for nature in Suffolk. Why plans for Sizewell C are disastrous for Suffolk's wildlife.