Posted: Tue 25th Oct 2016

County Council Responds To Horizon PAC 2 Consultation

This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Oct 25th, 2016

Isle of Anglesey County Council remains committed to the Wylfa Newydd project, but Horizon Nuclear Power must do more to guarantee local employment opportunities and support the Welsh language to sustain that support. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

These were two of the clear messages delivered to Chief Executive, Duncan Hawthorne, today (Monday, October 24th) as the latest consultation on the development of Wylfa Newydd draws to an end. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Isle of Anglesey County Council backed a robust but constructive formal response to the company’s second stage of pre-application public consultation (PAC2) earlier this week. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

A letter sent by Anglesey’s Chief Executive, Dr Gwynne Jones, highlights a number of key issues, including: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

• Education, skills and jobs ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Serious concerns about Horizon’s minimum expectation of 45% of Wylfa Newydd’s operational staff employed from Anglesey and North Wales and its estimation that only 25% of the construction workforce would be drawn from an area within 90 minutes’ commuting time from the nuclear plant. The company must also show an early commitment to promoting STEM subjects in the Island’s schools. There are also concerns about displacement of jobs in the supply chain. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

• Welsh Language and Culture ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The project’s impact will be significant and far reaching in terms of the Welsh Language and culture. The authority continues to insist that Welsh language is not looked at in isolation and is treated as the golden thread through all project components. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

• Supply chain ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Local businesses must be in a position to compete for supply chain and service contract opportunities. The Council welcomes the Horizon Supply Chain Charter and promotion of supply chain engagement through the Business Readiness Programme Menter Newydd. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

• Worker Accommodation / Housing ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Temporary worker accommodation in temporary buildings should only be considered once all of the other sources have been exhausted and then located on sites which comply with Planning Policy (including the spatial strategy), do not give rise to highways issues and are accessible for servicing. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

• Tourism ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Tourism as a key economic sector on the island has not been given enough consideration or weight. The project’s various impacts on tourism merits consideration as a key theme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

• Health and Wellbeing ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Wellbeing legislation must be taken into account and this wider scope must be reflected in any application coming forward. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

• Site selection methodology ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Site selection reports are inconsistent and heavily influenced by Horizon’s existing land options and acquisitions. Previous consultation responses have generally not properly been taken into account in the site selection, other than to be mentioned very briefly and then discounted with little evidence. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

• Level of PAC 2 information ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

PAC 2 consultation has provided more detail about proposals, but considerable further detail and work is needed to develop the proposals for mitigation of impacts, provision of positive legacy and how Horizon intends to address unforeseen or unquantified issues as and when they arise throughout the project lifecycle and not just in the construction phase. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Anglesey Chief Executive, Dr Gwynne Jones, said, “As a County Council, we fully endorse Horizon’s statement that ‘Wylfa Newydd has the potential to change lives for the better across Anglesey and bring major investment and opportunities for communities and individuals across North Wales and beyond’.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“However, we also firmly believe that this high level objective now needs to be translated into tangible commitments and actions which meet the expectations of local people, businesses and communities, and that Anglesey is fully equipped to capitalise upon future opportunities.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We believe that this formal response provides Horizon Nuclear Power with the mitigation measures needed to overcome many of those impacts we currently see as significant weaknesses in the project.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

County Council Leader, Councillor Ieuan Williams, added, “We recognise that Horizon Nuclear Power has prepared a significant amount of information as part of the PAC2 process. However, there are certainly a number of important areas which need more detail or must be addressed further.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Whilst we remain fully committed to the Wylfa Newydd project, our support cannot be taken for granted. I want to see Horizon committed to long term careers for people in Anglesey and wider North Wales, with firm plans to deliver that. Horizon has said it wants to build a ‘genuine partnership with the community’ – if so I personally want to see as close to 100% local employment as possible when the power station is operational and much more local employment than the 25% estimated during the construction phase.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I also hope that our engagement with Horizon will lead to further progress in terms of greater integration of the Welsh language into the project and discussions about the Council’s concept of creating a Community Resilience Fund which would address the project’s impacts as and when they occur.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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