'Sustainable legacy' pledged for West Somerset if Hinkley C goes ahead (From This is The West Country)
Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
'Sustainable legacy' pledged for West Somerset if Hinkley C goes ahead
A ‘SUSTAINABLE legacy’ for West Somerset has been pledged after the planning go-ahead was given for a new nuclear power station in the district.
Speaking in the Commons on Tuesday, Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced that a Development Consent Order had been granted to EDF Energy to build two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point, near Stogursey.
Although a big step forward, the decision does not mean the £14billion project is a foregone conclusion, with a crucial agreement on prices for the energy which would be produced there, or ‘strike price’, yet to be reached by EDF and the government.
Whether or not the plant is built, West Somerset Council is acting quickly to prepare the region and ensure it capitalises on the development.
Members will be asked on Wednesday to approve the allocation of £64,000 of section 106 money contributed by the developers to mitigate the impact of site preparation works at Hinkley C, already under way.
The money will go towards five major projects designed to increase the capacityof businesses, particularly in the food and drink and hospitality sectors, and improve business resilience in the key towns and villages of Minehead, Watchet, Williton and Stogursey.
Council leader Cllr Tim Taylor welcomed Tuesday’s planning consent announcement: “This is very positive news. The project will provide a really welcome and massive boost to the local economy.
"We have heard for some time that the EDF Energy team is ‘shovel ready’ and I am pleased to confirm that our council has already been working hard to deliver on our commitments and is also ‘Hinkley ready’.
“The Secretary of State’s announcement on the imminent conclusion of the negotiations on the wholesale ‘strike price’ for electricity is also welcome and I would urge all parties to reach agreement soon.
“I am also encouraged by the Secretary of State’s statement that there will shortly be a government announcement on the subject of community benefit.
“From the council’s perspective we already have a series of programmes in place providing all sorts of opportunities for local businesses to benefit from being in the supply chain and local people to be trained to become part of a skilled workforce.
“We will use the resources provided to us from the development to create a sustainable legacy for our community.”