A CHEST of £1.3million will be at disposal of three Somerset authorities to scrutinise EDF Energy's expected 90,000-page application for Hinkley Point C.

The energy giant has agreed to fund Sedgemoor District Council, West Somerset Council, and Somerset County Council to compile a Local Impact Report following lengthy negotiations, as heard by the district council's special meeting of the executive on Friday.

The report will be in response to EDF's long awaited Development Consent Order application to the Infrastructure Planning Permission, which seeks permission to build the new power station.

The report will highlight a number of issues such as cases for further mitigation and compensation from EDF, evidence for EDF's obligations to each council and the likely impacts of the project on the area.

Doug Bamsey, corporate director of regeneration, told the meeting the figure of £1.3million will be for the next six months.

He said: “Can I be clear that we do proceed on this basis to accept the money and proceed affectively in the Development Control Order process - it will be a tough regime financially and it will need very strong controls over finances, but I have no doubt this is a settlement we can work with.”

Council leader Cllr Duncan McGinty added: “We have been doing this for a few yeas now and in the past all of this would have been funded by the Government because it is a nationally significant project.

“This is breaking new ground for all authorities and we are doing remarkably well in the area of negotiations.”

Council chief executive Kerry Rickards said contribution from EDF was necessary in order for the tax payer not to fit the bill, but left the authority in an “unsatisfactory position”.

A spokesman for EDF confirmed £1.3million will be offered to the councils and said it remains committed to working with the community as the project progresses HAVE your say using the comment box below.