The decision allows the development of two new nuclear reactors on the West Somerset coast, which should generate up to 3260 MW of electricity, enough to power up to 5 million households, in the first new nuclear power station to be given permission since 1995.
As the UK’s existing nuclear and coal-fired power stations near the end of their useful lives, the Government is looking at ways of ‘filling the energy gap’ in future.
In 2011 the Government identified the Hinkley site as potentially suitable for a new nuclear station in the National Policy Statement (NPS) for Nuclear Power. Nicholas Pearson Associates were part of the team that assessed the environmental implications of all proposed nuclear sites proposed in the NPS in a strategic but detailed manner. Our Habitats Regulations Assessments examined the likely effects on wildlife in European designated sites (Special Areas of Consultation, Special Protection Areas and Ramsar sites), and we considered at the wider landscape and ecological issues in Appraisals of Sustainability (including Strategic Environmental Assessment). Our work was vital in ensuring that the environmental implications of new nuclear power developments, including at Hinkley, were taken fully into account in Government decisions. Previously we had reviewed the environmental impacts of proposals for a 12 turbine wind farm at the Hinkley site, on behalf of West Somerset District Council.
News about the Hinkley C decision:
– DECC Press Release: https://www.gov.uk/
– Secretary of State decision letter