Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment Public Consultation: Application for proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station, Suffolk, UK
The 1991 United Nations Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention), which require Parties to the Convention 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 procedures relating to a proposed development. For this purpose, the Party in whose territory the project is intended to be carried out shall send to the Affected Party, 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 a proposed Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station, which is to be constructed in Suffolk, England, UK.
The proposed Sizewell C Project includes two UK European Pressurised Reactor (EPR™) units with an expected net electrical output of approximately 1,670 megawatts (‘MW’) per unit, giving a total of approximately 3,340MW. 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:
Offshore 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.
Two screenings were undertaken, one prior to receipt of the application, and one following receipt of the application, to identify if there were likely significant adverse transboundary effects on the environment in other states. Both screenings have concluded that the Proposed Development is not likely to have significant adverse transboundary effects on the environment in Ireland.
Notwithstanding this screening determination, and having regard to the findings of the Espoo Convention Implementation Committee in relation to EIA/IC/CI/5 and the UK’s obligations under the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the ‘Aarhus Convention’), the Secretary of State has decided to inform Ireland of the Proposed Development as if significant adverse transboundary effects on the environment in Ireland were likely; for the purposes of Articles 3(1) and 2(4) of the Espoo Convention.
Further information and documents associated to the application are available at https://www.housing.gov.ie/planning/other/transboundary-environmental-public-consultation-sizewell-c-nuclear-power-station
A member of the public may make a written submission or observation in relation to the potential transboundary environmental effects of the project, by sending them to his or her local planning authority, to be received by close of business on Wednesday 28 October 2020 at the latest.
Submission can be emailed to email@example.com or posted to Senior Planner, Planning Section, Cavan County Council, Farnham Street, Cavan, Co. Cavan.
Submissions or observations should not be made to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
The public consultation notice is also available to view in the office of the Planning Section of each planning authority nationwide during office hours together with a printed copy of the correspondence from the UK’s PINS inviting Ireland to undertake a transboundary consultation under the Espoo Convention, extracts from the applicant’s Environmental Statement and associated documents that appear to be most relevant for the purpose of the consultation. A copy of these documents is available for inspection, or purchase at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, during office hours at the office of each planning authority nationwide.
The associated documents are as follows:
• A copy of the letter of 8 July 2020 from the UK’s PINS inviting Ireland to consult on the proposed development
• A copy of the UK’s screening determination
• A copy of the letter of 20 July 2020 from the EPA in relation to the UK’s transboundary screening determination
Extracts from the Environmental Statement (ES) and other documents, as set out below, that appear to be the most relevant for the purposes of the transboundary environmental impact assessment public consultation. These documents have been printed from links set out in the letter of 8 July 2020:
ES non-technical summary;
‘Navigation Document’ - Guide to the application – prepared by applicant listing all documents in the application
ES Volume 1 (Introduction to the Environmental Statement) –chapters 1, 2 and 6;
ES Volume 2 (Main Development Site) –chapters 7, 25 and 27;
ES Volume 10 (Project-wide, Cumulative and Transboundary Effects) – chapters 1 to 5;
Selected Appendices and Figures
Habitats Regulations Assessment Report Volume 1, Parts 1 to 5;
Habitats Regulations Assessment Report Volume 2, Stage 3 Assessment of Alternative Solutions
Habitats Regulations Assessment Report Volume 3, Stage 4 Imperative Reasons of Public Interest
Habitats Regulations Assessment Report Volume 4, Compensatory Measures
The draft Development Consent Order and Explanatory Memorandum;
Due to Covid 19 and social distancing requirements, it is advisable to contact the Planning Section to make an appointment to view the documents.
For your information, please also find attached the public notice which was placed in the National Newspapers