Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council, Somerset West & Taunton Council and North Somerset Councils (the Joint Councils) have jointly agreed a package of proposed measures to help minimise the effects of a rise in workers on the HPC construction project. In 2020, it was first reported that EDF Energy intended to increase the peak number of workers on the HPC site to 8,600, a rise of around 3,000 on original estimates. The increase is driven by the need to maintain safety and quality standards on the site as well as ensuring that the revised construction programme meets its target of electricity generation from 2026.
Since then the joint councils have been reviewing a series of assessments undertaken by EDF of the impacts of the worker increase across a range of topic areas including accommodation, transport, workforce development, community safety, health and environment and have agreed a series of additional measures, including:
- Additional worker accommodation within the existing campuses and the use and expansion of caravan sites and a range of financial contributions to support further housing initiatives aimed at supporting local people to access housing.
- An updated bus strategy, increased park and ride facilities, a car sharing scheme and changes to the allocation and timing of worker travel modes to minimise impact on peak periods.
- A range of support for employment, skills and training to maximise local job opportunities.
- Additional resources for community safety activities and financial support towards police and fire services.
- An increase in health capacity through an expansion of onsite medical facilities and financial contributions to the Clinical Commissioning Group.
- Increase in environmental reporting and financial contributions towards air quality monitoring
In addition, financial support is to be made available for regeneration projects in Bridgwater, localised car parking solutions in rural areas to manage the impact of worker parking and financial contributions towards extending council resources to support the programme past peak construction.
Supported by legal advice, the Councils agree that the increase in worker numbers would not be a breach of the original consent for the project as worker numbers were not restricted and the previous 5,600 figure was only an estimate. With the timely delivery of the agreed package of measures the Councils conclude that there would not be any materially significant impacts arising from the proposed increase in workers on the project.
For further information, please contact
North Somerset – Vanessa.email@example.com.
Sedgemoor District Council: – Stuart.Houlet@sedgemoor.gov.uk
Somerset County Council – PElliott@somerset.gov.uk
Somerset West and Taunton – R.firstname.lastname@example.org