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2 minute read - 21st July 2022

Planning consent given for Sizewell C nuclear plant

Sizewell C has moved a step closer to starting construction after the government gave planning consent for the new power station in Suffolk. The development consent order (DCO) application was submitted in May 2020 and sets out the range of measures the project will take to mitigate the effects of construction and maximise the benefits for local communities.

More than 1,000 interested parties and statutory consultees gave evidence during the public examination, which ran from April to October last year. The decision is the biggest milestone so far in the approval process for Sizewell C, as it follows four rounds of public consultation which began in 2012 and involved more than 10,000 East Suffolk residents.

A major milestone has been reached for the Sizewell C nuclear power plant with planning consent being granted / Picture: EDF Energy

Carly Vince, Sizewell C’s chief planning officer, said: “I am delighted that, after months of careful consideration, the government has given planning consent for Sizewell C. It is a big endorsement of our proposals and supports our view that this is the right project in the right place. I would like to thank the thousands of people in East Suffolk who contributed to our consultation sessions and the public examination. The input of residents, local authorities, environmental groups and many others has helped us to improve our plans.

“We will continue to work closely with them to make sure we minimise the impacts of construction and maximise the huge opportunities for the area. Sizewell C will be good for the region, creating thousands of opportunities for local people and businesses. It will boost local biodiversity and leave a legacy Suffolk can be proud of.”

Sizewell C is set to become one of the UK’s biggest net zero infrastructure projects, supplying reliable low carbon electricity to around six million homes. By displacing fossil fuel electricity, it will avoid around 9 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

Negotiations with the government on raising funds for the project are continuing and a final investment decision (FID) is expected in 2023. Last month, the government announced that Sizewell C could be eligible for funding using the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model which will drive down the cost of the project to consumers.

Julia Pyke, Sizewell C’s financing director, added: “Energy costs will be lower with nuclear in the mix, so today’s decision is good news for bill-payers. The tried and tested funding arrangement we are proposing means that, by paying a small amount during construction, consumers will benefit in the long-term. Sizewell C will give a big boost to jobs and skills in nuclear supply chain companies across the country. It will strengthen the UK’s energy security and play a key role in our fight against climate change. Planning approval brings us closer to delivering the huge benefits of this project to Suffolk and to the UK.”

Other approvals required before the project can begin construction include a nuclear site licence from the Office for Nuclear Regulation and permits from the Environment Agency.

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