HEARINGS START ON WYLFA NEWYDD PLAN
LAST week saw the start of a sixmonth long formal examination on plans to build a multi billion pound nuclear power station on Anglesey.
Mona Showground opened its doors to three days of hearings as part of Horizon Nuclear Power’s Development Consent Order (DCO) application to build Wylfa Newydd – a nuclear plant with a capacity of generating enough power for about five million homes.
The five member panel, led by Frances Fernandes, will consider and make a recommendation on the proposed power station to the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (UK Government), Greg Clark.
He will then decide whether to grant planning permission, or not, to build the main power station and other off-site integral developments.
Last Tuesday saw the first of three days of hearings at Mona Showground, with the preliminary meeting focussing on how the Planning Inspectorate propose to examine the application.
Last Wednesday saw an examination on the draft DCO application with open floor hearings to follow today, allowing interested parties to make oral representations about the application while also allowing Horizon to briefly respond to any matters raised. Among the parties given a chance to put forward their views will be Anglesey and Gwynedd Councils, North Wales Police and Natural Resources Wales. Further issue-specific hearings will also be held next year, with the process set to conclude in April, but a final decision may not be made for what could be 18 months.
As the ‘Host Local Authority’, Anglesey Council will play a key role in the DCO examination process.
The council’s chief executive, Dr Gwynne Jones, said: “For more than a decade now, the county council has adopted and maintained a supportive position in respect of potential Nuclear New Build on the Island. However, as stated on numerous occasions, this support will not come at any cost and we’ll use the formal DCO examination to seek the best outcome for those communities nearest to the development site, Anglesey and North Wales.”
Council leader, Cllr Llinos Medi, added: “The Wylfa Newydd power station is a huge energy infrastructure project of national significance. The sheer scale and complexity of the DCO application cannot be underestimated and its examination is vital. “Our priority remains the same. “We are committed to safeguarding and securing the best deal for local communities and people if Wylfa Newydd is given the go-ahead. We remain committed to the ‘proximity principle’ and will use it to ensure the benefits Wylfa Newydd brings are fully exploited, with the local impacts mitigated effectively.”
Plans for Wylfa Newydd were formally accepted for consideration by the Planning Inspectorate in July after the 41,000-page application completed its 28-day period of review to ensure it met the standards required.