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Protesters camp at Hinkley nuclear site

Nuclear protesters have set up camp on the site of the proposed Hinkley C power plant over plans to undertake preparatory works before planning permission for the plant is granted.

EDF Energy has given the greenlight for the works on the Somerset site to start this month ahead of a decision on the October planning application by the Energy Secretary.

The preparation works, which will include fencing, drainage and excavation, will be carried out by a Kier/ Bam Nuttall joint venture who also form the winning consortium with URS that will carry out the earthworks – due to begin later this year.

Three joint ventures are currently bidding for the prized main civils contract, thought to be worth in excess of £1bn, with Balfour Beatty/Vinci, Costain/Sir Robert McAlpine and Laing O’Rourke/Bouygues joint ventures all lining up for the contract.

An EDF spokesman said the protest “of seven people” was more of a gathering than a camp.

“We are aware of a small number of individuals who are currently on our new build site,” he said.

“Preparatory works were approved by West Somerset Council in July last year following normal planning procedures.

“We have entered into a Section 106 agreement with the local authorities which sets out a number of conditions allowing us to undertake the work and will be commencing that work later this month.

“This follows three years of extensive formal engagement and formal consultation about the project.

“We would hope that these individuals will choose to leave of their own accord but if not, there are other options available.”

The site preparation contract, thought to be worth around £4 million, will create 150 local construction jobs, according to EDF, while the £100m earthworks contract is set to get underway later this year.


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