All work on Hinkley Point C nuclear power station must be halted

Stop Hinkley campaigners are highlighting the significance of the report [1], ‘A Corruption of Governance?’ in relation to Électricité de France’s (EdF) new nuclear build project, Hinkley Point C, in Somerset.

Katy Attwater, Stop Hinkley’s spokesperson, said: "This scrupulously researched report shows that two of the National Policy Statements, EN-1 and EN-6 [2], approved by Parliament, are based on false information and the public has no alternative but to deem them invalid. MPs have, likewise, no alternative but to consider them fraudulent, re-open the debate and bring those responsible for this corruption to account.

“The push for nuclear through this corruption of governance is forcing a gross injustice upon the people of Britain. We have been seriously misled into believing that there is a need for nuclear power. Now it’s communities such as ours near Hinkley that are unnecessarily facing the prospect of EdF starting to dig up 400 acres of beautiful coastline in the coming weeks. This will bring unprecedented disruption to lives and livelihoods.

“The onus is on our local councils, regulators and the IPC (Infrastructure Planning Commission) to look at the implications of having been misled by the Government regarding EdF’s applications, past and pending, as a matter of urgency."

West Somerset Council had to take National Policy Statements (NPSs) into account when granting permission for the Site Preparation Works [3] that are about to start in earnest. The Planning Report states, for example, “…where the scheme conflicts with Development Plan policies associated with impacts on the tourism sector the Council have concluded that there are other material considerations, including policies of EN-1 and EN-6, which outweigh the conflict.”

In the context of these NPSs, now shown to be false, all worsk on applications [4] by EdF need to be halted and, where applicable, permissions withdrawn pending the production of revised and fully validated National Policy Statements and Guidance, based on re-consultation. To continue under these circumstances would be evidence that the corruption is spreading and would be wholly unacceptable: a further mockery would be made of democracy.

Contact Stop Hinkley Press Officer: Katy Attwater, 07980 731896,
attyhoops [at] hotmail.com

NOTES
1. ‘A Corruption of Governance’, prepared for the Association for the Conservation of Energy and Unlock Democracy had its Parliamentary launch on 31st January 2012. It shows there is no need for nuclear power in the energy mix. The report is downloadable from www.ukace.org

2. National Policy Statement EN–1 relates to the overarching energy strategy, and EN-6 to nuclear policy.

3. The following extracts, for example, are from the Planning Report put before the Members of WSC’s Planning Committee on 28 July 2011 when planning permission for EDF’s Site Preparation Works was granted:

2.3 Central Government Letters and Statements
The following Central Government Letters and Statements have been taken into account and given material weight in the assessment of the application proposals:

Summary of Policy and Relevance to Proposals DECC and DCLG joint letter to local authorities 16th July 2009

The Chief Planner of DCLG and the Chief Executive of the Office of Nuclear Development wrote regarding the role of local authorities in the consenting process for NSIPs. The letter provided guidance on planning applications for Preliminary Works, as well as on the materiality of the draft NPSs.

Letter to Local Authority Chief Planning Officers November 2009 Guidance provided to Chief Planning Officers on the weight to be applied to the draft NPS in planning decisions. This provided relevant guidance for applications made in advance of a DCO application under the Town and Country Planning Act route.

Preliminary Works; Planning Act 2008 – Guidance for Local Authorities March 2010

This letter from The Chief Planner of DCLG highlighted that draft NPSs may be a material consideration for local authorities when deciding preliminary works applications. (page 269)

Through the provision of mitigation and financial contributions for measures to promote and enhance tourism through section 106 obligations, it could be considered that the applicant’s proposals generally accord with Development Plan Policies.
Nevertheless to the extent that there are specific cases where the scheme conflicts with Development Plan policies associated with impacts on the tourism sector the Council have concluded that there are other material considerations, including policies of EN-1 and EN-6, which outweigh the conflict.

4. EdF’s main applications and status, lodged by their subsidiary NNB
Generation Co. Ltd., are:

Site Preparation Works at Hinkley Point C (passed by West Somerset
Council and about to commence).
Harbour Empowerment Order and the construction and operation of a 1km Jetty extending out into the Bristol Channel submitted to the Marine Management Organisation (Public Inquiry ended – Inspector’s report awaited).
Development Consent Order for Hinkley C including 2 EPR nuclear plants (application accepted by Infrastructure Planning Commission and evaluation commenced) Environmental Permit applications submitted to the Environment Agency and awaiting decisions:
o (EPR/ZP3690SY/A001) Radioactive Substances Activity - regarding disposal of radioactive waste
o (EPR/ZP3238FH/A001). Combustion Activity – regarding combustion plant to be used to provide back up electrical supply at the site Site Operator’s Licence application