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Somerset councils go out to tender for new nuclear advisors

Sedgemoor District Council, West Somerset Council and Somerset County Council have gone out to tender for firms to provide professional technical advice during the planning process for new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point.

French energy giant EdF plans to build two new nuclear power stations at Hinkley Point in Somerset, with the first opening in 2017. It is expecting to submit planning applications later this year. Last week it published revised proposals for its project, which will go out to public consultation in October.

The councils are looking for up to 20 firms to tender for the work, which could also include providing advice on National Grid upgrades and the proposed Severn Barrage. Local infrastructure projects such as the proposed Parrett Barrier may also require support through the contract. The value of the works is undisclosed.

Successful firms will be expected to provide technical advice, support in the drafting of documentation, and carry out a critical review of documentation from developers. They will also represent the councils, as and if required during the course of the projects.

The three councils are also tendering for environmental consultants in readiness for when EdF submits its environmental impact assessment (EIA)for works at Hinkley. Seven separate contracts will be awarded ranging in value from £500,000 to £2M for the preparation of the councils’ own EIA, marine surveying, socio-economic research, economic research, technical planning, cost and project management and marine conservation planning.

Sedgemoor District Council members have already expressed strong views against the development at Hinkley. The council’s formal response to EdF’s first public consultation, issued in March, raised a number of specific concerns, particularly on labour force requirements, accommodation
planning, and traffic impact.

It also said EdF’s plans lacked a planning strategy, were not integrated with the approved regeneration strategy for the area and that there was inadequate consideration of planning mitigation and a lack of detail on proposals for community benefit.

It said there were concerns about waste storage, health impacts and the excessive scale of proposals in Cannington, where EdF plans to build a park and ride car park for the workforce.

It also said there was a lack of transport investment, notably an outer bypass for Bridgwater, and there were concerns about the exacerbation of flood risk and inappropriate use of land in flood risk areas.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 20 August.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Wil;l councils never learn that they should not be inviting tenders from more than, say, 6 firms?

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