ENERGY giant EDF last week won permission to prepare land at Hinkley Point for a new power station.

Planning authority West Somerset District Council gave the go-ahead on Thursday to the applications for site preparation work, including fencing and site clearance, backed by support from Sedgemoor District Council.

Campaigners against the new power station said EDF had “jumped the gun” as it has yet to apply for planning permission for the whole project, and stood in protest outside West Somerset Council's offices in Williton.

Stop Hinkley spokesman Crispin Aubrey said: “This is like giving a developer permission to excavate a Greenfield site even before they have permission to build the actual houses.”

EDF is expected to apply to the Infrastructure Planning Commission later this year for consent to build a new power station.

In the meantime, it says the preparatory works will create up to 500 jobs - the majority will be for people in Somerset - and has issued a commitment for more than £25 million worth of measures to mitigate the impact of preparatory work.

After receiving permission for their site works, EDF applied for a nuclear site licence from the Office for Nuclear Regulation and an environmental permit from the Environmental Agency.

EDF Energy chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: “These are significant milestones. They demonstrate that we are progressing and delivering, while we also carry out the work to incorporate learnings from Japan and from our other new build projects internationally.”

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