Friday, 12 August 2011


EDF Transport Assessment
A Community Scrutiny Committee of Sedgemoor District Council met on August 10 to examine in detail the decision by EDF Energy not to recommend a Bridgwater Bypass as part of the development proposals for the new Hinkley Point C Power Station.
The meeting was arranged following the presentation of a 1400 name petition to the council saying that EDF Energy should not be allowed to start work on the new plant until a bypass had been built to relieve congestion in Bridgwater. As a result of the meeting EDF  will be asked to submit a report to the Infrastructure Planning Commission on the local impact of the proposed development. 
Held in the YMCA, Friarn Street, the all-day meeting which was chaired by Labour Councillor Julian Taylor (Eastover) was addressed by representatives of parish councils and wards as well as from EDF Energy. Following a session of questions and answers, councillors agreed to the following resolution:
   "This committee recognises the overwhelming community support expressed at this meeting for a Northern Bridgwater by-pass. The Scrutiny committee urges EDF not to submit a Development Consent Application to the IPC until such time as EDF have robustly and comprehensively assessed traffic impact and means to mitigate it, including a truly comparative assessment of a Northern By-pass and online improvements, to the satisfaction of the Local Authorities. The assessment should align with the NATA/Webtag methodology stipulated in Department of Transport Guidance.
    In the absence of this robust assessment of transport options by EDF, the Council should contribute financial and officer support to the completion of such a study working with the Highways Agency, Somerset County Council and West Somerset Council as appropriate.  It should be completed in the most comprehensive level of detail that can reasonably be achieved prior to the submission of a Development Consent Order application for Hinkley Point C.  It is recommended that this study should form the basis of a decision by the Council on highway matters, when the Council sets out its position to the Infrastructure Planning Commission in a Local Impact Report. This work should commence immediately."
Cllr Taylor-"EDF's duty of care"

Chairman Julian Taylor said " I am   pleased that local people from Bridgwater and the surrounding communities had the opportunity to speak in support of a sorely needed Northern  by-pass for Bridgwater.  I hope that EDF will recognise its duty of care towards the community and get on with providing a by-pass as soon as possible as part of the Hinkley Point development. " 
Cllr Lerry "Denied opportunity"
Cllr Mick Lerry (Bridgwater Victoria) spoke forcibly at the meeting saying   "It  was clear from the presentation from EDF and Somerset County Council that the real assessment for a bypass had not been considered as an alternative to the proposed road junction alterations in Bridgwater,  because EDF refused to submit their proposals on the Bridgwater bypass to Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council, instead they would only submit the bypass proposal to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. The people of Bridgwater were being denied  the opportunity to be consulted on the bypass, because of a policy decision made by EDF at head office level. Consequently a real traffic assessment has not been carried out."

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