UK Prime Minister Theresa May has today given the go-ahead for the new £18bn nuclear power station in Somerset to be constructed subject to some revised conditions.
The planned 3260MW plant is the first to be approved in the UK for over 10 years (since 1995). RPS provided planning and environmental advice to NNB Generation Company (a subsidiary of EDF Energy – France’s 85% state-owned leading power generation business) in support of the development.
RPS provided planning and environmental consultancy on the project across a number of disciplines. RPS was first appointed as planning and waste consultant for the project to prepare, submit and negotiate consent for the Enabling Works Project which permitted significant site preparation works prior to submission of the DCO application to the Planning Inspectorate.
RPS also provided planning and waste services as part of the preparation of the Development Consent Order (DCO) application. Additionally, they helped to develop the sustainability strategy and the Health Impact Assessment as well as providing support alongside the Environmental Impact Assessment process. RPS also attended and provided client support at the DCO hearings.
RPS’ involvement covered not only the plant site but also further associated development sites including freight handling locations and the refurbishment of the nearby Combwich Wharf.
As part of the instruction, a multidisciplinary team of RPS professionals developed detailed sustainability material to support the DCO application. Our role in this was to ensure that the sustainability statement submitted with the application was consistent with the aims of the UK’s National Policy Statement for Nuclear Energy and EDF’s corporate sustainability aspirations, as well as meeting wider stakeholder expectations. We worked closely with all parties to ensure that this was achieved to deliver an effective and sensitively balanced statement.
Former Energy Secretary Edward Davey granted DCO approval for the plant in 2013 when it made widespread news as the first nuclear power plant to complete the DCO application process under the new Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime set out in the Planning Act 2008.
The new power plant will sit alongside the existing Hinkley Point A and Hinkley Point B plants on the Somerset site which has been operational for 40 years. As a low-carbon power provider, Hinkley Point C will contribute significantly to the UK’s nuclear power programme – delivering around 7% of the UK’s electricity requirements. Through construction and operation phases it is also expected to create more than 25,000 jobs.