Sedgemoor council examining 55,000 page application for EDF for nuclear new build

Sedgemoor District Council will spend £295,000 scrutinising the plans to build a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

The council has been a vocal opponent of power firm EDF’s current plans because, it says, the company is not investing enough in the infrastructure of the rural area to mitigate the strain that the massive £10bn ten-year project will put on it.

The Infrastructure Planning Committee is currently examining a 55,000 page application from EDF and will decide whether the plant should be approved by the end of the year.

The council had, until recently, been in discussion with EDF to get funding for its scrutiny effort but the power firm has refused to pay more than £272,000 to Sedgemoor Council, as part of a settlement totalling £561,000 for all three councils in the area.

The councils argue this falls well below the £2.2m cost of their participation in the planning approval process and the conditions attached, which included not using the funding for council officer time, would be detrimental to their participation.

Sedgemoor council will use £250,000 of its contingency fund to finance the scrutiny effort with an additional £45,000 carried forward from strategy and business budgets.

Council leader Duncan McGinty said: “This approach would guarantee fairness, ensure there is equality in the process and allow local considerations to be fully taken into account.”