EDF Energy’s plans for Hinkley Point C in Somerset were, earlier this month, the subject of a 13,000 signature petition stating: “We do not want Hinkley C”.

In a drive aimed at winning over local people the French state-owned power giant is promising to invest in housing, leisure facilities, transport and local ecology schemes.

The initial work to build station was given planning permission last year by West Somerset Council, but is still highly controversial among local people.

Not least because the vast amount of work due to take place is scheduled in before the station has been given full planning permission.

However, EDF has said it will set aside a separate fund so the site can be ‘reinstated’ in the event full planning permission is not granted for the station.

EDF Energy’s director of planning and external affairs for nuclear new build, Richard Mayson, said: “This is a landmark deal for the people of Somerset.

“We are proud to be part of the local community and conscious of our responsibilities.

“The planned power station at Hinkley Point C is a project of national significance and will provide low carbon electricity for five million homes.

“We are very aware of the impacts the preparatory works will have on the local area, so we have worked very hard with the local authority to identify and mitigate the impacts and bring forward improvements to local services and facilities for residents in West Somerset and beyond.

“We are aware of our responsibilities and the Councils also have a duty to ensure that the funding is effectively deployed to achieve the desired effect.”

Luke Walsh

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