HUNDREDS of people attended a meeting to mark the start of the examination of EDF Energy’s application for a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point.

The Infrastructure Planning Commission will spend six months assessing issues raised by interested parties and is expected to release a timetable of meetings soon.

Last week’s meeting at Sedgemoor Auction Centre was picketed by anti-nuclear campaigners and attended by dozens of groups registered to speak, including resident groups and councils.

Sedgemoor district councillor Julian Taylor said: “I am concerned vital issues such as the impact of traffic on Bridgwater may not receive the airing they should. We need a special meeting in Bridgwater to properly put our case across.”

County Council economy chief David Hall said: “The preliminary meeting is a major step in the project. We hope the IPC will take our concerns on board in setting out the final examination timetable.

“We want to ensure there is time for communities to have their say and for EDF’s transport proposals to be fully scrutinised and debated.”

An IPC spokesman said: “All interested parties had the chance to give their say and a timetable for the examination period is expected to be announced this week.”

THE IPC says the examination will not be affected by the organisation’s impending abolition. From April 1 the IPC will cease to exist and the examination of EDF’s application will be carried out under the name of the Planning Inspectorate.