Hinkley Point C
EDF Energy are building two nuclear reactors, known as Hinkley Point C, at Hinkley Point on the West Somerset Coast. These are the first nuclear reactors to be built in the UK for twenty years and once in operation, will provide low carbon electricity for six million homes over a sixty year period. This represents approximately 7% of the UK's electricity needs. Please note that the documents on this page may not comply with WCAG 2.1 AA standards.
While the project was in the early stages of design, Sedgemoor District Council, West Somerset Council (now Somerset West and Taunton Council), Somerset County Council and NNB GenCo (EDF Energy) signed a Planning Performance Agreement which embodied the collective, overarching vision for the development. The Planning Performance Agreement can be viewed here:The themes in the Agreement were refined during the planning process to form the 'Dillington Vision', a set of objectives focused on the areas of economic development; education, employment and skills; a low carbon future; housing and community wellbeing, through which the maximum benefit from the nuclear development could be derived. The Dillington Vision can be viewed in full here:
Site Preparation Works
Planning consent to prepare the site at Hinkley Point for the construction of the nuclear power plant was granted by West Somerset Council (now Somerset West and Taunton Council), via the Town and Country Planning Act process, on 27th January 2012. The application can be viewed at this link: Somerset West and Taunton Council - planning applications quoting the reference number 3/32/10/037. Site preparation works concluded on 16th June 2016.
Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project
The construction of the nuclear power plant and the Associated Development is categorised as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP). In contrast to the Town and Country Planning Act (TCPA) planning process, in which the Local Planning Authority is the decision making body, planning applications for NSIPs are made to the Planning Inspectorate, who appoint independent inspectors to carry out an examination. Following the examination a recommendation is made to the Secretary of State who will ultimately decide whether to grant or refuse permission. If permission is granted it will take the form of a Development Consent Order (DCO).
The DCO for the nuclear power plant and Associated Developments was granted on 19th March 2013, following an examination period during which the Council and many other organisations were consulted and engaged. The DCO for Hinkley Point C can be viewed at this link: National Infrastructure Planning - Development Consent Order. Local Planning Authorities, such as Sedgemoor District Council, are responsible for discharging the requirements contained within the DCO and carry out a monitoring and compliance role with regard to provisions set out in the Order. The Council ensures legal obligations are met and that management plans, which form part of the DCO application, are implemented and updated. The Council also has a role in change management and in enforcement.
For more information on decision making process for applications relating to Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, please follow this link: National Infrastructure Planning - process
Although the main site itself is located within West Somerset, its construction will be supported by a range of Associated Developments. The Associated Developement located within the Sedgemoor District is listed below:
- Sedgemoor Campus (accommodation), Bath Road, Bridgwater
- Park and Ride facilities at Cannington, Junctions 23 and 24 of the M5
- Cannington Bypass
- The refurbishment and extension of Combwich Wharf.
- Various road improvements including those at Taunton Road/Broadway, Bristol Road/The Drove, The Drove/Wylds Road, Bristol Road/Wylds Road and the roundabout at J23 of the M5
Other sites in Sedgemoor also have a role to play but fall outside of the DCO process and are referred to as 'ancillary sites' in the Sedgemoor Local Plan. These include Cannington Court and temporary caravan parks, for example. Ancillary sites are subject to the TCPA processes, where relevant.
The Project's Potential
The construction project is expected to create 25,000 employment opportunities, including 1,000 apprenticeships and to contribute £1.5 billion to the local economy. During peak construction, it is estimated that approximately one third of the labour force will be drawn from the local population but this figure will fluctuate throughout the construction period, depending on the skills required by the project. Furthermore, EDF Energy hope to assign up to 64% of the value of construction contracts to UK companies. The Council and its partners are working to ensure that local people have the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to obtain work associated with the project and several state of the art training facilities are now in operation. Sedgemoor is also the site of a number of commercial developments (in operation and development) which will enable the local supply chain to benefit from the opportunities associated with the nuclear development. It is envisaged that the commercial developments, supported by a well skilled local workforce, will accelerate the move to a more dynamic and entrepreneurial low carbon economy, which will be sustainable long after the construction of the nuclear power plant. It is a key objective of the Council to ensure a legacy from the Hinkley Point C build and the Gravity Enterprise Zone represents a commercial site with the transformational opportunities to achieve this and create an exemplar of Clean Growth.
Section 106 Agreements
There will be a need to acquire a proportion of the labour force from outside the local area, which does have the potential to put pressure on existing accommodation, transport and service provision. These risks were identified in the Local Impact Report (2012) which was commissioned by Sedgemoor District Council, West Somerset Council (now Somerset West and Taunton Council) and Somerset County Council. An executive summary of the Report is available here:and the full report here: . The risks identified by the report have been mitigated through funding provided by EDF Energy via Section 106 agreements, which enable the Council and its partners to support and implement a wide variety of projects. The S106 agreements can be found here:
Contacting EDF Energy
EDF Energy can be contacted with regard to Hinkley Point C by telephone on 0333 009 7070 or by completing the enquiry form at this link: EDF Energy - enquiry form. A wide range of information is available on EDF Energy's Hinkley Point C website at this link: EDF Energy website (Hinkley Point C)