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Transboundary Environmental Public Consultation – Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station, Suffolk, England, UK

Why is this consultation being undertaken?

Under the terms of the 1991 United Nations Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention), and the EU Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (the EIA Directive), Member States are required to engage in transboundary public consultation in respect of projects likely to have significant effects on the environment of neighbouring States as part of the environmental impact assessment of a proposed development. For this purpose, the Member State in whose territory the project is intended to be carried out is required to send to the affected State, no later than when informing its own public, a description of the project and any available information on its possible transboundary impact.

Each planning authority in Ireland has recently received information in the form of a letter of notification dated 8 July 2020 from the United Kingdom’s Planning Inspectorate (PINS) to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) relating to an application for development consent (planning application) for the proposed Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station, which is to be constructed in Suffolk, England, UK.

The letter from the UK’s PINS states that the Secretary of State has received an application in respect of the proposed development includes two UK European Pressurised Reactor UK EPR™ reactor units, giving a total site capacity of approximately 3,340MW, along with associated development required for the construction or operation of the Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station or to mitigate its impacts.

The Sizewell C Project comprises the main nuclear power station facility and associated developments in order to facilitate construction and operation of the nuclear power station including;

  • Off-shore cooling water infrastructure and other marine works,
  • Temporary construction areas and the relocation, demolition and replacement of certain existing ancillary facilities associated with the operational Sizewell B nuclear power station,
  • A number of associated development works away from the main site which are required to facilitate construction or operation, including;
  • Two temporary park and ride sites to manage traffic generated by the construction workforce,
  • Permanent road bypasses, link roads and highway improvements to alleviate traffic and mitigate road safety effects during construction and operation,
  • Temporary freight management facilities during construction; and
  • Temporary and permanent extensions and improvements to existing railway infrastructure.
  • Temporary and permanent extensions and improvements to existing railway infrastructure.

The proposed development has been identified as a project within the scope of paragraph 2 of Appendix 1 to the Espoo Convention as implemented by the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017 (“the EIA Regulations”) (UK legislation).

Consequently, the Secretary of State has twice screened the proposal, once at pre-application stage and a second time on receipt of the application. The screening determination on both occasions is that the proposed development is not likely to have significant adverse transboundary effects on the environment in this State. However, the Secretary of State decided to notify Ireland as if the development is likely to have significant adverse transboundary effects on the environment in this State, as provided for in Article 3(1) of the Espoo Convention.

How to Participate

All documents related to the application are available to view on the department of Environment’s website at: https://www.housing.gov.ie/planning/other/transboundary-environmental-public-consultation-sizewell-c-nuclear-power-station A copy is also available to view at the Planning Department, Kildare County Council by appointment only (Due to Covid restrictions).

Making submissions or observations

A submission or observation in relation to the potential transboundary environmental effects of the development may be made in writing to Planning Department, Kildare County Council, Aras Chill Dara, Naas, Co. Kildare or by e-mail to plandept@kildarecoco.ie. All submissions or observations must –

  1. be titled “Transboundary environmental public consultation – Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station”,
  2. include the name and address of the person, authority or body making the submission or observations and the name of the person, if any, acting on behalf of that person, authority or body, and;
  3. include reasons, considerations and arguments on which the submission or observations is based.

Deadlines for submissions or observations

The deadline for the receipt of written submissions or observations by the planning authority under this transboundary consultation process is close of business on Wednesday 28 October 2020 at the latest. Submissions or observations will not be individually acknowledged or responded to by the planning authority. The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government will not accept submissions or observations in relation to the project.

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