Suffolk County and Suffolk Coastal councils have taken a new position about the whole Sizewell project. A politically crafted and very careful deal has been done between the two councils. All in planning language, as is right and proper, it deserves careful study.
It is the handiwork of County Councillor Guy McGregor, chairman of the Joint Local Authorities Group liaising with EDF Energy.
The McGregor Report has been passed by both councils' cabinets. The report’s position has been described as “not satisfied”, while the usually EDF supportive East Anglian Daily Times (EADT) newspaper picked up one councillor’s comment that Suffolk should now “get on a war footing”.
Another councillor. representing an area on the north side of the project development area. proposed a tough 12-point programme approach to EDF on a take-it-or-leave-it basis.
The councils are now supporting only the “principle” of nuclear energy, not the proposals as they stand and maybe not even this particular project if it can’t meet “environmental exemplar” standards.
That was the bar set at Stage 1. In the subsequent four years there has been a lot of collaboration, with support both in principle and in practice and ceaseless assertions of beneficial outcomes for Suffolk. While this music still plays in some quarters, quite profoundly different notes are now emerging.