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Reaction as Hinkley Point C given the go-ahead
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- Hinkley Point C given planning permission this afternoon
- EDF Energy says scheme would create thousands of jobs in Somerset
- Anti-nuclear protestors had hoped scheme will be blocked
THE Sedgemoor and West Somerset Green Party secretary, Jamie Robertson, said: "Granting permission for Hinkley C to go ahead is an unnecessary gamble.
"Robust studies show that long-term low-level radiation emissions do have detrimental local health effects; and permission should not have been granted while no safe facility has been agreed for the disposal of the very highly toxic waste.
"If Hinkley C does come to be built it would be a very unwelcome legacy for our children and grandchildren, as well as a huge burden for this generation by artificially raising the already high cost of electricity."
WEST Somerset Council's deputy leader, Cllr Chris Morgan, added: "I am pleased that the waiting game is very nearly over.
"The local community is already seeing changes to the environment and I know the council is working very hard together with EDF Energy and our partner councils to minimise any disruption that will be caused.
"We are already working hard to make sure that there are no adverse effects on the local housing market, our tourist industry or from a community safety perspective.
"Members of our council are very keen to support and work with the places and people most affected, such as Stogursey, to gain access to the funding for communities which becomes available once the project starts in earnest.”
CLLR Tim Taylor, leader of West Somerset Council, said: "This is very positive news and the project will provide a really welcome and massive boost to the local economy.
"We have heard for some time that the EDF Energy team is 'shovel ready' and I am pleased to confirm that our Council has already been working hard to deliver on our commitments and is also 'Hinkley ready'.
"The Secretary of State’s announcement on the imminent conclusion of the negotiations on the wholesale ‘strike price’ for electricity is also welcome and I would urge all parties to reach agreement soon.
"I am also encouraged by the Secretary of State’s statement that there will shortly be a government announcement on the subject of community benefit.
"From the council’s perspective we already have a series of programmes in place providing all sorts of opportunities for local businesses to benefit from being in the supply chain and local people to be trained to become part of a skilled workforce.
"We will use the resources provided to us from the development to create a sustainable legacy for our community."
REACTION from campaign group Stop Hinkley.
Spokesman Theo Simon said: "I don't think anyone in West Somerset believed that the public consultation last year was anything more than an elaborate, undemocratic sham, and that in itself is a political scandal."
Mr Simon said Ed Davey's decision was "a rubber-stamping exercise".
THE Somerset Wildlife Trust says it has been trying to make sure any new nuclear development at Hinkley C does not adversely affect species including otter, skylark and barbastelle bats, and important habitats like hedgerows.
The Trust said: "We made a strong case to EDF that where impacts could not be avoided, they should be mitigated and compensated for straight away by creating new habitat, improving existing habitat, and linking this together so that wildlife can move around the local landscape.
"As non-statutory consultees the extent to which we could influence EDFs approach to nature conservation in the new development was limited.
"Having made our case for the best possible protection of wildlife, and requested the development bring a net benefit to local biodiversity, we have relied upon the Planning Inspectorate and the Government’s nature conservation agency, Natural England, to ensure that Hinkley Point C New Nuclear Power Station brings about the best deal for Somerset’s precious wildlife.
"We hope that with the granting of this Development Consent Order, EDF will take the opportunity to maximise the longer term benefits to local nature they could bring about."
Even if all athletes had been made to run round in giant hamster wheels, it would have only produced a fraction of power of Hinkley Point C.— @Castle_Kearsley 19 March 2013
PICTURED at Hinkley Point this afternoon are Tim Taylor, leader of West Somerset Council, Duncan McGinty leader of Sedgemoor District, Nigel Cann, construction director at Hinkley C and David Hall, deputy leader of Somerset County Council.
Not a good day for Somerset, the UK, or the world.... http://t.co/KLZPcVEsI2— @TauntonGreens 19 March 2013
RT @BobConstantine: Hinkley C confirmed by Ed Davey - now needs price guarantee. Bypass for nearby town of Cannington too.— @NCAVELL 19 March 2013
Friends of the Earth chief Craig Bennett said: “The Alice-in-Wonderland economics of the nuclear industry killed off previous plans for a new reactor at Hinkley – decades later, little has changed.
“The only way this plant will be built is if the Government hands over a blank cheque from UK taxpayers to French developers, EDF.
“The most cost-effective way to cut carbon and keep the lights on is a combination of energy efficiency and investing in renewables, the cost of which are falling year on year.
“For decades nuclear industry has over-promised and under-delivered – we can’t afford to keep throwing money at it.”
Cllr Norman Cavill, who holds the economic development brief, said Taunton Deane residents were well placed to take maximum advantage of the jobs that will be created at Hinkley Point C.
He said: “Such a major investment will give opportunities to our young people who will be able to take advantage of the jobs and apprenticeships that will be on offer. There will be local businesses, too, which will benefit from Hinkley supply contracts.
“The economic climate has been difficult but when EDF confirms its investment in Hinkley Point C it will bring major benefits to the local and regional economy, benefiting existing businesses and making this part of Somerset very attractive to inward investors.”
The Mayor of Burnham and Highbridge, Ken Smout, said: “Our concern from the start has been what impact Hinkley C will have on tourism.
“Any effect on tourism would be catastrophic but we'll have to wait and see.
“The impact will go on for many, many years; time will tell if it's a good thing.”
EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz: “Receiving permission to construct a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C is a huge achievement, which represents years of hard work.
"It reflects an extraordinary level of professionalism and work from EDF Energy’s planning team, the Planning Inspectorate, local authorities and a wide range of stakeholders.
“This decision sets up a huge opportunity for this project to provide enormous benefits to the UK in jobs, skills, cutting carbon emissions and future energy security.
"We are ready to deliver and an extensive supply chain is standing by to begin work.
“To make this opportunity a reality, we need to reach agreement swiftly on the Contract for Difference for Hinkley Point C.
"It must offer a fair and balanced deal for consumers and investors. Intensive discussions with the Government are taking place and agreement is still possible.
“The success of this pioneering project will kick start the new nuclear programme in the UK and is expected to lead to lower costs for successive UK nuclear plants.”
Nuclear I up EDF, #hinkleyC is going ahead...— @CiderSi 19 March 2013
Bridgwater College principal Mike Robbins said: "We are delighted that another crucial milestone has been achieved for Hinkley Point C, and look forward to the final go-ahead being given.
"EDF Energy has invested heavily in our facilities to support the training needs for the new build and we've been working with them for a number of years to help students, the unemployed and other local people gain the necessary skills to secure the job opportunities that this prestigious project would bring.
"We look forward to the opportunity of developing our partnership for many years to come and helping not just young people but everyone in our community to realise their potential."
Hinkley powerstation planning permission has just been approved. Very interesting times #nuclear— @amichaeljones 19 March 2013
1:18pm Tue 19 Mar 13
It's megawatt hour actually.
Which basically means the wholesale price if electricity from Hinkley C would be at least double the current retail price
EDF certainly know how to go after good business.
The only thing stopping the Government and ILG from growing a pair and saying no is fear of embarrassment when the deal collapses
SEDGEMOOR District Council leader Cllr Duncan McGinty said: “This is a landmark decision and an important step towards the delivery of the next generation of nuclear power stations.
"The communities around Hinkley Point recognise the urgent national need for new energy infrastructure and their role as pioneers in the new low carbon economy.
“The decision heralds significant opportunities as well as challenges over the coming decade and we are ready to work hard to see that the full benefits are felt locally and to try to keep disruption of daily lives to a minimum.
"We will be working very closely with the community and EDF Energy to help deliver this nationally important project.
"However, we now ask that the Government turns its attention to the needs of these communities in Sedgemoor and West Somerset.
"It must ensure they receive fair, reasonable, and proportionate benefits in recognition of the burden of hosting a power station which will deliver great benefits to the nation but whose significant impact is felt locally.”
ED Davey has told the Commons he expects ongoing discussions with EDF Energy regarding future energy prices linked to Hinkley C to be completed 'shortly'.
RT @kirstygogan: Planning permission for Hinkley is a massive milestone for first new nuclear in UK in nearly 20yrs, & 1st test of new planning regime.— @NIAUK 19 March 2013
Hinkley Point C #nuclear power station gets the green light #greatnews— @Matchtech_power 19 March 2013
ED Davey, the Energy Secretary, said: “The decision to give consent to Hinkley follows rigorous examination from the Planning Inspectorate and detailed analysis within my Department.
“I am confident the planning decision I have made is robust, evidence-based, compatible with the Energy National Policy Statements and is in the best interests of the country.
“It’s vital to get investment in new infrastructure to get the economy moving. Low carbon energy projects will bring major investment, supporting jobs and driving growth.
“This planned project adds to a number of new energy projects consented since May 2010, including wind farms and biomass and gas-fired power stations.
“This planned new nuclear power station in Somerset will generate vast amounts of clean energy and enhance our energy security.
"It will benefit the local economy, through direct employment, the supply chain and the use of local services.”
MARGUERITE Bowden, assistant principal at the West Somerset Community College, added: "We believe that Hinkley Point C will help to raise educational aspirations and give young people the vital skills needed to be in the best possible position to get jobs on this huge development.
"With EDF Energy's support, we are working hard to get the local community properly prepared for the employment opportunities we hope lie ahead."
WEST Somerset Community College principal, Gaynor Comber, said: "This is great news and another important step towards building Hinkley Point C.
"The project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Somerset and we intend to help our community take advantage."
Cllr David Hall, Somerset County Council’s deputy leader, said: “The Hinkley Point C project will unlock tremendous opportunities for Somerset, including thousands of new jobs, supply chain investment and a large number of apprenticeships for our young people.
Leader John Osman added: “This is an exciting time and a time of huge opportunity should EDF make a decision to go ahead.
“It is the chance of a lifetime and could regenerate a huge area and create jobs and opportunities for our young people for years to come.”
Ed Davey pays tribute to the work done by the councils to maximise the benefits of Hinkley project— @SedgemoorDC 19 March 2013
Good day for Bridgwater says Ian Liddell-grainger MP and we are Hinkley ready— @SedgemoorDC 19 March 2013
Ed Davey says it would be "improper" to give an update on #Hinkley #nuclear strike price discussions.— @CNChrisB 19 March 2013
There will be community benefits package for Hinkley says Ed Davey— @SedgemoorDC 19 March 2013
Mr Liddell-Grainger said the authorities are 'Hinkley-ready' and admits that Sedgemoor will feel 'the pain' of the development to some extend.
THE Planning Inspectorate, which handled EDF Energy’s Hinkley C planning application, said Ed Davey had supported the recommendation it made in December to give the go-ahead.
That recommendation has only now been made public.
More than 1,200 people registered an interest in the application, which amounted to more than 30,000 pages and contained 800 plans and drawings.
A panel of five inspectors examined the plans over a six-month period.
Sir Michael Pitt, chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate, said: “This was the largest application to be handled by the Planning Inspectorate.
“A major priority for us over the course of the examination was to ensure that communities who might be affected by this proposal had the opportunity to put forward their views.”
Do you feel your views were listened to? Have your say here.
SPEAKING in the Commons, Bridgwater and West Somerset MP has said today is a 'phenomenally good day' for the region.
THE Hinkley Point C new nuclear power station has been given development consent by the Energy Secretary.
The decision by the Energy Secretary follows an examination process by the Planning Inspectorate which met or exceeded all the statutory timescales laid down in the Planning Act 2008.
Planning Inspectorate chief executive Sir Michael Pitt said: "This was the largest application to be handled by the Planning Inspectorate under the planning Act 2008 and required a Panel of five Examining Inspectors who were given the task of considering the evidence put to them by the interested parties.
"A major priority for us over the course of the examination was to ensure that communities who might be affected by this proposal had the opportunity to put forward their views.
“The examination of the application was completed within the timescales prescribed in the Planning Act and a recommendation made to the Energy Secretary.
"Today’s decision by the Energy Secretary supports that recommendation.”
ENERGY Secretary Ed Davey has given Hinkley C the go-ahead. More to follow.
This from parliament.uk regards Ed Davey's announcement.
"The statement is expected to commence between 1 and 1.30pm, following the conclusion of the urgent question on the EU Council."
Ed Davey will make a statement to the House at 1pm-1.15pm today on planning decision for new #nuclear at Hinkley Point C— @kirstygogan 19 March 2013
UNITE national officer for energy Kevin Coyne has spoken in favour of the development at Hinkley Point.
He said: "This is a significant milestone towards meeting the UK's low carbon energy needs and the project will be a massive boost for jobs.
"The construction of Hinkley Point C will create thousands of skilled construction jobs for the next five years and around 800 jobs in the operation of the power station over the next 60 years.
"Nuclear is a crucial part of a balanced energy policy, to stop the lights going out.
"We hope Hinkley Point C is just the first in a fleet of new nuclear power stations which would also create jobs in construction for the next 20 years."
Hinkley C: If approved, 25,000 jobs will be created over the construction period, with 5,600 workers required at the peak of construction.— @SomersetCouncil 19 March 2013
THE union Unite is hoping Ed Davey gives Hinkley C the go-ahead today.
Unite's national officer for energy Kevin Coyne said: "This is a significant milestone towards meeting the UK's low carbon energy needs and the project will be a massive boost for jobs.
"The construction of Hinkley Point C will create thousands of skilled construction jobs for the next five years, and around 800 jobs in the operation of the power station over the next 60 years.
"Nuclear is a crucial part of a balanced energy policy, to stop the lights going out.
"We hope Hinkley Point C is just the first in a fleet of new nuclear power stations which would also create jobs in construction for the next twenty years."
We are out at Hinkley Point C waiting for the Secretary of State's announcement on whether or not it gets planning consent— @SedgemoorDC 19 March 2013
£100million per year will be put into the regional economy during construction if Hinkley C goes ahead.— @SomersetCouncil 19 March 2013
EDF Energy says that if it is given the go-ahead to build Hinkley Point C it will be the biggest engineering project in Western Europe.
Excitement is building as the announcement on Hinkley C is expected in the next few hours! Interesting facts and figures to follow...— @SomersetCouncil 19 March 2013
RT @GazetteDMilli: Energy Secretary Ed Davey will announce whether EDF Energy will be allowed to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point today.— @GAPSomerset 19 March 2013
WEST Somerset Council, Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council say they are busy preparing their teams to help implement the project should it be given the green light.
West Somerset Council leader Tim Taylor said: “I am pleased the wait for the main decision to build (or not) the two nuclear reactors is nearly over.
"We should know on Tuesday whether the Minister has granted planning permission for the project.
"Our council took an active part in the Planning Examination and has helped shape with details of the project. We are naturally keen to see a positive outcome of our hard work.
"Should the decision by the Minister be positive, we are ready to play our important part, working with EDF Energy and partner councils to deliver education and skill programmes and jobs for local people, while at the same time taking sure measures to minimise the impact of the project on local communities.”
ONE of Somerset's MPs has described the decision over Hinkley Point as 'momentous' for Bridgwater and the county.
Bridgwater and West Somerset MP Ian Liddell-Grainger said: “A 'yes' is vital. It will show that the work that's been done by Sedgemoor District Council, the town and everybody else has come to fruition.
“This is a momentous day.”
HOW Hinkley Point C might look.
It's deadline day for a planning decision on EDF's Hinkley Point C. Planning inspectorate gave its recommendation to Ed Davey in December.— @renewablesvoice 19 March 2013
ENERGY Secretary Ed Davey, who will make the announcement over Hinkley Point later today.
ENERGY Secretary Ed Davey will announce whether EDF Energy will be permitted to build a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point today.
It is widely expected the Government will give the scheme for the Somerset coast near Bridgwater the go-ahead.
However, even if the project is approved, EDF Energy says it still wants assurances over the price it will be paid for the power it produces before it will commit to build the nuclear plant.
It is estimated the plant will create 25,000 jobs and boost the Somerset economy by many millions of pounds.