occupy hinkley | 13.02.2012 11:04 | World
Anti-nuclear activists moved into an abandoned site near Hinkley Point, Somerset, early yesterday.
Protesters are angry that permission has been given by West Somerset Council for clearance work for a new power station to begin before developer EDF Energy has won permission to build its controversial new nuclear plant.
Somerset-born protester Theo Simon said: “We want to reclaim this land and make sure wildlife is protected.
“Giving permission to clear the land before planning permission has even been granted clearly gives the message to EDF that permission is a done deal.
“I, and many others like me, want proper public consultation and debate before we commit to a technology whose toxic legacy will remain for generations.”
EDF said: “We are aware of a small number of individuals who are currently on our new build site.
“We would hope that these individuals will choose to leave of their own accord but if not, there are other options available.”
In the early hours of this morning anti-nuclear activists took possession of an abandoned farm on the site which is protected under International Environmental law. The site contains a Site of Special Scientific interest (SSSI) and a protected wetland (R.A.M.S.A.R site) but it is due to be cleared by power company EDF in the coming months. Protesters are angry that permission has been given for this work to begin before the company have won permission to build their controversial new nuclear plant.
Somerset born Theo Simon said "We want to reclaim this land and make sure that the wildlife that inhabits it and forages here is protected. Giving permission to clear the land before Planning Permission has even been granted clearly gives the message to EDF that permission is a done deal. I, and many others like me, want proper public consultation and debate before we commit to a technology whose toxic legacy will remain for generations.”
Local media reported this week that EDF will begin site clearance in the coming weeks, although EDF claimed the opposite when protesters occupied the trees on Tuesday.
The first phase of the preparation works will include removal of hedgerows and all trees,
before stripping all topsoil and levelling the landscape, all this despite the fact that planning permission has not been granted for a new nuclear power station at the site.
Nikki Clark of SWAN said "Bat ecologists have explained to us that 86% of Bat crime is caused by the destruction of roosts carried out by developers. We have been told that the so-called 'mitigation', which involves building alternative roosts, that has been proposed by EDF has never been scientifically tested to prove that it actually works."
Questions have been raised about the Government's process of developing energy policy.
In the corruption of governance report last week it was revealed that the 'Nuclear Renaissance' was instigated against the advice of scientists, and is indicative of wider corruption within the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
The new minister brought into replace Chris Huhne, who stood down last week to face criminal charges, is Lib Dem - Ed Davey. Despite having produced the party's anti-nuclear policy in 2006, he has now made a complete U-turn and is supporting the coalition in promoting new nuclear build in the UK.
Shana Deal, one of the occupiers in Langborough Farm, said today: "If EDF's activities continue, this nature reserve will be lost forever. Not even EDF are willing to guarantee that a new nuclear power station will be economically viable, and I for one do not want to see this beautiful land turned into a Toxic Waste dump.”
The farm premises is accessible by public footpaths and visitors are being welcomed by the protesters.
For background and further information phone: 07530 947554