Public inquiry could look at flooding risk

BESIDE NENE: The existing power station ' the new one will go alongside.
BESIDE NENE: The existing power station ' the new one will go alongside.
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MP John Hayes says a public inquiry would be a good way to examine the potential flood risk at the proposed multi-million pound power station at Sutton Bridge.

EDF’s Sutton Bridge B gas-fired power station will go alongside the existing gas-fired power station on the banks of the River Nene, a site identified as a flood risk area, if the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) gives the go-ahead.

The MP and residents are speaking out following a 10ft tidal surge that swept up the river in December.

Mr Hayes said: “Disaster was averted but it just fires a warning shot – if you are going to build power stations you have probably got to be very careful where you put them.

“We need to think very carefully about where we locate generating infrastructure in a way that perhaps hasn’t happened previously and I will certainly be making that argument.”

Sutton Bridge resident Jenny Rowe says the new power station with its three, 80m high chimneys will be around twice the size of the existing power station and have a carbon capture and storage (CCS) plant alongside.

She’s concerned about the impact on The Wash – an internationally protected marine wildlife area – and called for a full, independent environmental impact assessment. The county and district councils could force a public inquiry if they object to EDF’s plan. The county will deliver its verdict next week and the district in April or May.

The Environment Agency recommends flood risk mitigation and EDF says it expects to agree a “package of measures” with the DECC, which includes raising part of the site to 4.33m above sea level.