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Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station: Government Scrutiny

Volume 683: debated on Tuesday 10 November 2020

What plans he has to help ensure adequate Government scrutiny of the Sizewell C nuclear power station development consent order application. (908542)

The Planning Inspectorate’s examining authority will robustly examine the application for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear generating station. The Secretary of State will then give careful consideration to the examining authority’s report and recommendations, before taking a final decision.

Undoubtedly, Sizewell C can bring many benefits to Suffolk in terms of increased employment opportunities, and it is an important part of decarbonising and improving our energy security. However, it is not a case of Sizewell C being built at any cost, and many people in Suffolk have concerns about the failure of EDF properly to engage with the consultation process. More than 50 outstanding concerns have been raised by Suffolk County Council. What reassurances can the Minister provide to me and my constituents, particularly those in the Wickham Market and Hacheston areas, that EDF will be held to account, will properly engage with the consultation, and will implement the changes that are needed to improve road and rail infrastructure?

My hon. Friend makes a powerful point and his message has been heard clearly. I reassure him that proposals for mitigating the potential impact of Sizewell C will be considered during the examination of the development consent application, and local people and local bodies, such as the county council, will have the opportunity to make representations. The Secretary of State will then thoroughly examine and consider the recommendations from the Planning Inspectorate, which will be submitted to him following that examination. I give my hon. Friend that guarantee.