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EDF offer 'not enough' for Bridgwater
8:30am Tuesday 25th September 2012 in Bridgwater Area News
MORE must be done to protect Bridgwater from the effects of Hinkley C, a leading politician has been told.
EDF Energy, the firm behind a third nuclear power station at Hinkley Point, has this week revealed details of how it will mitigate the area if the scheme goes ahead.
A £64million package will include nearly £16million on roads and £8.5million on housing.
But politicians in Bridgwater fear the measures do not go far enough.
On Saturday, Labour councillors invited Baroness Royall, Labour leader in the House of Lords, to Bridgwater, to press for the town’s case to be heard at the top ranks of Government.
Mick Lerry, leader of the Labour group on Sedgemoor District Council, said: “It was a very good and productive visit and Baroness Royall listened to all our concerns.
“One of them is about EDF Energy proposing hostel accommodation rather than permanent housing which would leave a legacy for the people of Bridgwater.
“We also have concerns about the proposals for junction alterations, which might not allow us to overcome the congestion we experience now.”
Cllr Lerry said councillors’ biggest concern, however, was how the area would be financially compensated.
One proposal for compensating the area would see business rates kept here, rather than being hauled back by central government to redistribute.
But Cllr Lerry said: “All of those business rates would go to West Somerset because that’s the local authority that Hinkley Point falls in – even though all the congestion would be in Bridgwater.”
EDF Energy says it has worked with local authorities and other groups over the past three years to minimise the impact of Hinkley C.
It says that as well as providing a £64million community fund, it is spending £30million on site preparation work.