by Brendan Coyne
EDF Energy is coming under fire for providing only temporary accommodation for Hinkley Point C workers, despite a report funded by the Homes and Community Agency proposing legacy options for the same overall cost.
The assessment of EDF Energy’s Bridgwater A Campus proposals, conducted by Jones Lang Lasalle, proposes two alternatives to temporary dwellings, which under current plans will be demolished once the power station is finished.
The options, one for an alternative campus with retainable infrastructure and one with accommodation capable of being converted to legacy housing, both cost around £40 million, the same as EDF’s proposals.
Sedgemoor Council corporate director Bob Brown said the report had gained “no traction at all” with EDF Energy. He called the company’s decision “ludicrous”.
EDF Energy said it was not possible to apply for permanent housing under the Development Consent Order. It said family-style housing would not be suitable for workers and that it would provide £5 million to support the local housing market during construction.
The company estimated a third of 5,000 workers would come from the local community and live in their own homes and a quarter in the purpose-built campuses. The remaining 2,200 would buy or rent in the area, “boosting the local economy”. It said 5,000 beds had already been offered for rent by nearby residents. Brown said that would distort the local market.
Sedgemoor Council is also campaigning for nuclear communities to receive the same benefits as renewable hosts. Brown said the main EDF campus was “next to one of the most deprived wards in the country”. He said fuel poor residents in inefficient homes would pick up a “higher burden” of the costs created by a guaranteed price for nuclear power. “Community benefit would address that.”
This article first appeared in Utility Week’s print edition of 20 July 2012.
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