WEST  Somerset Council  has welcomed the news that EDF Energy (EDFE) will undertake further preparatory work on the Hinkley Point C site.

Although a final investment decision on whether to start work to construct the new Hinkley Point C power station is not expected until later this year, EDFE has confirmed that it will undertake further preparatory works at the site over the coming months.

The work is authorised by the Site Preparation Works, for which West Somerset Council granted planning permission in early 2012.

This will allow key elements of site infrastructure, including access roundabouts, haul roads and drainage works, to be put in place before implementation of the main Development Consent Order to build the power station.

The start of Phase 2 works will trigger significant planning agreement payments, known as Section 106 payments, to the district authority, including the first tranche of the Community Impact Mitigation Fund.

Details about the fund will be issued soon.

Cllr Tim Taylor, leader of West Somerset Council, said: “We are very encouraged by the news that EDF Energy will undertake further preparatory works.

"Respecting that further decisions from the EU Commission and EDFE are needed before the main development can start, this early work will put in place key infrastructure and other measures to enable the building of the new power station to commence both quickly and efficiently.

“West Somerset Council continues to place very high priority on this nationally and internationally important project.

"Our officer team, which has been boosted by additional skills and experience as part of our joint project with Taunton Deane Borough Council, continues to work hard to maximise the opportunities for our West Somerset businesses and communities.

"We are also particularly mindful to support communities in the parish of Stogursey.

“We are working closely with EDFE and will make a further announcement on the details of the Community Impact Mitigation Fund soon.”