HEARINGS START ON WYLFA NEWYDD PLAN

Caernarfon Herald - - NEWS -

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.

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