An extraordinary meeting of Anglesy County Council’s planning committee next week is set to accelerate development of the Wylfa nuclear power station. Horizon Nuclear Power wants permission to clear 299ha of land to prepare for construction of the proposed Wylfa Newydd nuclear power plant. If approval is given, the project promoter will set up the main site compound carrying out other enabling works at the site. Horizon says it has cut the time needed to do this initial work from 15 months to 13 and getting permission will give it a head start on the main construction programme, if a development consent order for the whole project is granted. Council officers are recommending that permission is given, subject to conditions, including that work is carried out within two years of permission being granted. The move comes at a time of potential political sea change in some attitudes towards nuclear power in Wales. Leanne Wood, the current leader of Plaid Cymru has said she will fully review its energy policies if she is re-elected in next month’s leadership election – there has been support for projects because of the jobs they bring, but Wood has reportedly said that she doesn’t want the dependence on Westminster funding that the project would bring.

New Civil Engineer 31st Aug 2018 read more »

A vast swathe of land the size of more than 500 football pitches is to be cleared to make way for the new Wylfa power station. Horizon wants to spend 15 month on the project, which will see a 740-acre area prepared ahead of the construction of the nuclear plant. It will involve clearing field boundaries, demolishing buildings and relocating protected species. With the timescale for getting the go-ahead for the nuclear plant, known as a Development Consent Order (DCO), likely to take up to 18 months itself, Horizon wants to get on with clearing the site now. It is going before planning chiefs with its proposals next week at a special meeting focusing solely on the Wylfa bid. Anglesey council’s committee has been advised to approve the proposals, but there is opposition from local groups who feel no work should happen until and if the DCO is approved by the Planning Inspectorate. The developers have said they’ll put the site back to how it is now should the DCO not be granted. The North Anglesey Partnership, consisting of Amlwch, Llaneilian, Llanbadrig, Rhosybol, Mechell and Cylch y Garn community councils, has raised concerns over the timing and lack of information made available by Horizon, stating that with “so many unanswered questions,” no site clearance should take place until full approval is in place. Llanbadrig community council’s own submission, while backing the nuclear plant in principle, went on to say: “There is still much doubt about whether this project will proceed, particularly in the prevailing environment of uncertainty exacerbated by the era of Trump and Brexit. “Horizon seem to recognize this uncertainty in their reluctance to proceed with the bypasses ahead of DCO approval. Site clearance should only proceed in parallel with the construction of bypasses when there is certainty that both are necessary.

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Published: 31 August 2018