Somerset

Somerset councils call EDF nuclear plans 'unacceptable'

Hinkley Point C proposal
Image caption The stage two consultation for Hinkley Point C finishes in October

Two Somerset councils have called the latest plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point "unacceptable" and "completely inadequate".

West Somerset District Council and Somerset County Council have both criticised a lack of detail in EDF Energy's proposals.

They have highlighted the "poor" worker transport and accommodation plans.

EDF Energy said the criticism was "quite unfair" but accepted there was more work to do to flesh out the plans.

The two councils are considering their responses to the second round of consultation which ends on 4 October.

'Purchasing consent'

West Somerset leader Tim Taylor said: "We are very unhappy about the way EDF Energy has consulted local communities and responded to government guidelines.

"EDF are consulting on their terms and we the councils are trying to defend our local communities on our terms and it's very difficult to make the two meet."

He said more research needed to be done on the impact of taking local skilled workers out of their normal jobs for the site's construction and the effect the power station would have on tourism and the housing market.

Mr Taylor added that the energy company had not taken into consideration the local viewpoint, saying EDF had proposed the bare minimum to build and operate two nuclear reactors.

But David Eccles from EDF said: "I don't think 10,000 pages is a minimum amount of detail."

He added: "I know there's more to do, particularly on the accommodation and transport strategy, but I think we have made a huge contribution to the debate and we've got an awful lot of information out there in which people can provide a response."

He said the energy company did not need to build affordable housing to be able to build power stations and that EDF must be careful not to be seen to be "purchasing consent".

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