EDF Energy has given assurances that proposals for the planned Sizewell C nuclear power plant in the UK will be given ample time for public discussion if the coronavirus lockdown continues.
Opponents the Sizewell C nuclear plant had called for the Development Consent Order (DCO) to be put on hold until all movement restrictions ended. However, EDF Energy intends to submit its plans to the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) in the next few weeks.
EDF energy has written to all town and parish councils in the region to explain how the planning process will work. Its letter outlines measures being put in place to allow more time for key elements of the consultation process.
Once the DCO is submitted, it will be 28 days before it is formally accepted by PINS and then published online. The application runs to many thousands of pages, EDF Energy said.
The pre-examination phase, which follows the acceptance period typically lasts for 28 days, but EDF Energy said it would ask the Planning Inspectorate for this to be extended to give people more time to access the documents and overcome any need for hard copies of some paperwork.
EDF Energy said that individuals and organisations will have the "summer months" read the full planning application and to register their interest if they plan to comment.
The company added that it will distribute a newsletter to 40,000 homes and businesses to inform local residents that the application is ready to be viewed online.
"There is no prospect of the examination commencing even in normal circumstances for approximately five to six months,” the letter said.
EDF Energy noted that it wants “everyone to have the opportunity to be able to read, understand and register their interest in the proposals – whether supportive of Sizewell C or not”.
EDF is planning to build two 1670MWe UK EPR units at Sizewell C.
Photo: Sizewell C CGI (Credit EDF Energy)