Defending Hinkley’s biodiversity

As well as housing a nuclear power station, Hinkley Point is a place for wildlife, with a variety of nature trails. How will expansion affect these habitats, and the animals that call them home?

In 2011, Hinkley Point B won the Wildlife Trust’s “Biodiversity Benchmark”, as a recognition of EDF Energy’s management of the site.

Hinkley Point has a variety of habitats, including grasslands, scrub, woodlands and ponds. It is located on the coastline of Bridgwater Bay, designated as a site of specific scientific interest since the late 1980s.


The Somerset Wildlife Trust has itself claimed that the Trust is not against nuclear development. In the planning meeting for the expansion, Michelle Osbourne of the Somerset Wildlife Trust is reported to state that “The environmental impact assessment process has been reasonably robust although undervalues species and habitats and uses language inconsistently.

“The development would have an adverse residual affect for species and habitats, even with the conditions and obligations. The Trust was concerned about the time for the clearance of the site and the reinstatement (with a lag time between impact and mitigation), which would have a significant impact on many species.”

The current site at Hinkley Point B has achieved Biodiversity Benchmark status with the Wildlife Trusts, as well as EDF Energy sites at Sizewell B in Suffolk and Hartlepool. A statement by the firm says: “We are pleased to have received the Biodiversity Benchmark at three of our sites and are continuing work to achieve it across the fleet. The Benchmark is recognition of the work by everyone involved including staff, wardens, volunteers and conservation partners.”

EDF are adamant that their reactor will have a negligible effect on the wildlife in the local area over the lifetime of the plant. They claim that: “The potential radiological effect on wildlife habitats was considered by modelling the impact of discharges on habitats in the vicinity of the power station. In all cases the dose was calculated to be negligible and well below the Environment Agency’s wildlife dose limits.

“The modelling and assessment of the proposed discharges of radioactivity from Hinkley Point C all show that, when judged against the stringent internationally agreed criteria for radiological protection, the impacts on people and wildlife are negligible and any dose impact is dwarfed by the contribution from natural radioactivity.”

EDF do recognise that they will be destroying habitats in the area. The report reads that: “Part of the Hinkley Point C Development Site comprises the Hinkley County Wildlife Site (CWS), which is considered to be of regional or county importance. It consists of a network of species rich scrub, coastal grassland and broad-leaved woodland with ponds and areas of improved grassland.

“Approximately 68% of this site will be lost to power station construction.”

However, they have made an attempt to safeguard habitats and plants in the area. The report says: “the plant layout has been designed such that there will be no land take from the mosaic of habitats to the east of Wick Moor Drove. This will enable much of the botanical interest of the Hinkley CWS to be retained including all reed bed, the majority of the scrub and a large proportion of the more botanically diverse grassland. To mitigate the habitat loss, a mosaic of habitats will be created.”

“The most potentially significant effect on these habitats, which are outside the Development Site (except for the construction of the cooling water culverts and temporary jetty), is disturbance to the internationally and nationally important numbers of birds that feed and roost in the area, both overwinter and on migratory passage.”


In order to minimise the effect that construction will have on birds, EDF Energy claim that they will avoid noisy activities at night, such as piling works and foundation excavation, as well as ensuring that the jetty at the site is constantly lit, with directional lighting limiting light spill. They claim that this will allow birds to become habituated to the lighting at the site, rather than to be disturbed whenever it is turned on or off.

Studies and investigations at the site have determined that there is a very low likelihood of significant contamination across the majority of the site, with an exception in the eastern part of the site, where a number of areas of hydrocarbon contamination were found, as well as a small number of areas where asbestos contaminated materials have been buried.

EDF state that: “To mitigate the risk from this localised contamination further work will be carried out to identify the precise locations of any asbestos contaminated materials and the sources of other contaminants, so that they may be removed prior to the construction works starting.

“On the basis of this mitigation, and the studies and investigations undertaken to date, it is considered that the potential risk of harm to people and wildlife as a result of exposure to contaminants during the construction period is negligible to minor.”


The hidden cost of accommodation

Although a large number of people will be housed in the Bridgwater area, North Somerset is also expecting to be housing workers for the construction at Hinkley. But will people lose out due to the large number of new workers?

In November 2010, approximately 66% of households in the private rented sector in North Somerset were on housing benefit. The district is expected to be housing around 12% of the temporary workers on Hinkley Point C.


According to a report by North Somerset Council, it is likely that some of the workers looking for inexpensive accommodation throughout the construction of Hinkley Point C would be competing with those reliant on housing benefit. The report states: “This is likely to lead to a further increase in demand for those properties, thus pushing rents up, potentially to a point higher than those on housing benefit can afford.”

Furthermore, the report states that, due to changes in housing benefit no longer being paid directly to landlords, Hinkley Point construction workers would have a better chance of being offered private rented tenancies than local people on housing benefits. The report states: “This would mean that there would be even fewer properties available to those people that the Council has a duty to house. This is compounded by the fact that the Council only secured 42 affordable housing completions in 2011/12 (due in the main to changes to Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) funding of affordable homes) and only one of these completions was for social rent.”

Another issue highlighted is the reduction in full housing benefit in under-occupied homes, known as the “Bedroom Tax.” The report states: “The housing and homelessness charity Shelter expects more larger homes in the private rented sector will be used as shared houses to meet this new demand (and because landlords are likely to be able to command more rent from multiple households), leading to a shortage of larger homes for families.” Therefore, it appears likely that, in order to minimise losses, shared houses for workers at Hinkley Point C will become more common, at the cost of a reduced number of houses for families in need.

Kay Topazio, Housing Strategy & Enabling manager at North Somerset Council, feels that the council can assist both people in housing need, as well as those workers coming in to work at Hinkley Point. He said: “We have a range of incentives for landlords to encourage them to continue to and provide new accommodation for households, including those on housing benefit. Some examples of these are deposit guarantees, rent in advance, private sector leasing schemes and tenant finding.

“Working proactively with landlords enables us to be prepared for increased demands on the sector, which is likely to be when construction at Hinkley Point reaches its peak in five or six years.

“Despite our low delivery during 2011-2012, we are are currently delivering over and above our target of 150 affordable homes per year. Furthermore, we are pleased to say that North Somerset Council negotiated just under £700,000 to mitigate against any likely pressures on the private rented market by workers at Hinkley Point.


“We have been in close dialogue with our colleagues in the other local authorities within the Hinkley C impact area, as well as EDF Energy, for a number of years, and we have been able to influence the mitigation funds distribution as well as give suggestions for the types of mitigation measures that should be put in place prior to and during the construction phase.

“This means we have a clear understanding of the housing market and can share good practice with our colleagues, ensuring initiatives to increase supply in the private sector are complementary to other local authorities and meet the needs of not only those in housing need, but also those seeking employment and accommodation as part of the construction of Hinkley C.”

However, are still high hopes that the accommodation market in Bridgwater will benefit from the workers. Follow this link to find out more.

What will EDF Energy bring to the area?

The firm behind the construction of Hinkley Point C insists that the nuclear new build will bring a variety of benefits to the area, and that they will be investing in the local area. But what are they really bringing to the area?

EDF Energy claim that the project is to be the first in a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK, and provide “a clean, secure and affordable source of electricity for around five million homes.”

In the area around the build, EDF also claim that the build will provide around 25,000 employment opportunities throughout the build, which will take nearly a decade to complete. Furthermore, the plant will bring in around 900 jobs at the new stations, which will be in operation for more than 60 years.


For these 25,000 temporary workers, EDF will be constructing accommodation for approximately 2,000 workers. Other workers will be supported by the housing markets in Bridgwater and the surrounding areas. However, the 25,000 temporary workers speculated to be working on the site are to work over the entire duration of the construction – it is unlikely that there will be more than 7,000 construction workers on the site at any one time.

EDF have also announced a variety of investments in the local area, claiming that they are “investing in local people, equipping with the necessary skills to work on the project, ranging from construction and energy skills to training in business and enterprise.” This includes the development of a new construction skills training centre in conjunction with Bridgwater College. EDF are also investing £15 million in redeveloping Cannington Court, in order to develop it into the EDF Energy campus management and skills training centre.

Also, as early as 2012, EDF had awarded £25 million in contracts to local firms, and has invested £1.6 million in West Somerset Community College, of which £1 million will be dedicated to developing a new hub for apprenticeships. The firm estimates that 400 apprenticeships will be created throughout the project, some of which will be targeted to convince young people to enter the Nuclear industry.

EDF Energy has also created an employment brokerage scheme in association with the Job Centre. This aims to match people to various job opportunities that will be generated by the project.

EDF are also implementing a variety of improvements to the transport network in the area – but not everyone is supportive of the proposals.

EDF’s goals for transportation

EDF Energy are making a variety of different investments in Bridgwater and the surrounding area in order to facilitate expansion at Hinkley Point. In particular, they will be making a large investment into transport infrastructure in the area.

In particular, EDF will be funding a variety of park and rides across the region, from junction 23 on the M5 in the East, to Williton in the West.

The largest of these park and rides are to be found on the M5, at junctions 23 and 24. Also to be used as centres for heavy goods vehicles, these each consist of 1,300 parking spaces for cars, as well as space for bikes, from which buses will run to reduce the traffic going to Hinkley Point C.

However, the junction 24 park and ride is going to be reduced in size following the completion of the Park and Ride at Junction 23. It will see the number of parking spaces drop to 698, and the number of spaces for HGVs reduced from 140 to 55.

However, the site at junction 24 is to be kept, in order for it to be used for future storage and distribution. On the other hand, following the completion of construction, the park and ride at junction 23 is to be returned to agricultural use.

Smaller park and rides are to be established in Cannington and Williton. The site at Cannington, designed to accommodate workers from the west of Bridgwater and the surrounding rural areas, has 252 parking spaces for cars. The site on a former lorry park at Williton, near Minehead, will have only 160 spaces. Both sites are to be returned to their original uses following the construction, as agricultural land in Cannington, or as a lorry park in Williton.

With regards to the transportation of materials, EDF Energy has committed itself to using the road network as little as possible. To this end, they are refurbishing Combwich Wharf in order to allow the delivery of large items to Hinkley Point C over water.

EDF are also investing money in the development of a bypass at Cannington, to allow traffic to the site to permanently avoid the village, as well as greater development of the roads in Bridgwater itself. Through these methods, the firm hopes that it will reduce the strain that expansion will put on the road network.

However, Stop Hinkley have claimed that EDF’s transport plans are dangerous. They feel that motorway accidents and traffic during the summer often gridlock the roads through Bridgwater and along the M5, and that the large number of HGVs coming to the area for the project is untenable.

MP Ian Liddell-Grainger insists that the development will not excessively gridlock the road network, as the new park and rides will reduce traffic. He also said: “Lorries will go at set times – there are cameras to make sure they aren’t going when they shouldn’t be.”

Hinkley Point: a history

There has been a nuclear power station at Hinkley Point for almost 60 years. Over the years, reactors have been built and decommissioned – but the headland is now synonymous with nuclear power.hinkley-sea Five miles north of Bridgwater is the headland of Hinkley Point. A popular location for birdwatching, the bay to which it adjoins has been declared a site of specific scientific interest. Since 1965, the headland has been home to a nuclear power station. The construction of the first plant, Hinkley Point A, began in 1957, before it was commissioned in 1965. This plant, consisting of two nuclear reactors, was operational until 2000, when it was shut down due to the cost of maintaining it. The plant was joined by Hinkley Point B in 1976, which is still operational under the French-owned company EDF Energy. Hinkley Point B currently provides 945 Megawatts to the national grid, employing approximately 535 full time EDF Energy employees, plus over 220 full time contract partners. hinkley-quantocks A third plant has been under consideration for many years. EDF announced plans to build a new reactor at Hinkley Point in 2008, and bought additional land on which to construct the station in 2011.

Throughout 2013, EDF was in negotiation with the Department of Energy and Climate Change about the creation of a third plant on the headland. In particular, the company demanded a guaranteed price for the electricity produced. The site received planning consent in March of 2013, which was followed with the agreement over energy prices in October the same year.

However, in December 2013, an investigation was opened by the European Commission, to investigate whether the project will break EU regulations into state aid. Under EU law, it is legal to support a company with public money so long as it is on terms that would have been accepted under market conditions. Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia has reportedly said that, under the agreement, “the nuclear plant operator will ultimately receive a fixed level of revenues and will therefore not be exposed to market risks for the duration of the scheme.”

For now, the expansion of Hinkley Point is on hold while the European Commission considers the effect that the agreement between EDF Energy and the UK Government will have on the energy industry in the UK and abroad. However, it still appears likely that, somehow or other, Hinkley Point will become home to a new nuclear power station – and this will bring a large amount of change to the region.

Why nuclear? Ian Liddell-Grainger speaks

Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, is very comfortable to have a nuclear power station in his constituency. The opportunities that the expansion brings to the area are just what Bridgwater needs, and a secure source of energy is necessary for the UK, I spoke to Mr Liddell-Grainger to talk about how expansion will affect his constituency, and whether they were prepared for the work.

In general, how do you feel that the expansion of Hinkley Point is likely to affect your constituency?

I think you’ve got to look back to when they built Hinkley A in 1957, and Hinkley B in the 60s, and now Hinkley C, a lot of the lessons that have been learned from that expansion, in particular the lesson that we have to put a lot of the traffic to the site through Bridgwater. Therefore, the expansion is not difficult on site, that’s the easy part – it’s what goes on around the plant that is the most difficult. I think one of the challenges that we are going to face is to ensure that this town is going to run. The expansion in Bridgwater over the past five years has been astronomical. We’re leading the South West as an industrial town, we’re leading as an investment town, and we’re leading as a place that people want to be. We have to manage those expectations with the biggest infrastructure project in Europe.

So, this will be an achievable challenge for Bridgwater?

It’s an interesting question, because when we started out with this, we had to learn a lot of lessons that we had partly forgotten. We went through very carefully with EDF and their team, and what everyone has been trying to do is to work out how we can go about this massive infrastructure project in a way that nobody else’s lives are disrupted over a 15 year period. So you have to work out how the workforce gets there, how the lorries get there, the heavy equipment. So we have a pier being built at Hinkley Point C, we have facilities that already exist, to allow people to beach very large barges – we just want to ensure that a minimum number of people, infrastructure, machinery, etc. goes through Bridgwater. There is a huge plan that has been put together with the district council at Sedgemoor, who have really been the unsung heroes of this – They have really led the way with EDF energy, of how to do this with the minimum of fuss.

I’ve heard concerns about the number of roads leading to the plant – Is there going to be something done about this?

We’re going to have two park and rides, which will let us channel people through Bridgwater in buses. The lorries will go at set times – and there are cameras already in place to make sure that they aren’t going when they shouldn’t be. We are also going to be spending money on the road infrastructure – We are doing a lot more work around Cannington, including a bypass. It is a challenge, I’m not saying it won’t be difficult, but we have done this with A and B stations. Although the town is bigger, the road system has been changed to accommodate that – so we are confident that we won’t gridlock the town – there will be times it gridlocks, it gridlocks now, for example at school times. But these people aren’t going to be going out at school times, they will be working a three-shift system, which means that they are not going to hit the rush hour times. We know the busy times, we know the traffic in Bridgwater, we know what we’re expecting, and so we know what we need to do.

EDF estimate that there will be 25,000 short-term jobs during the construction – which should be about 5,000 at a time. They are planning on building 2,000 accommodation places in the area – leaving 3,000 needing to be supported by the property market in the area. Is this doable?

Again, this is an interesting point – we have built an amazing number of houses here in Bridgwater, it is the fastest-growing town in the South West – why? Because we know how to make a town successful. We’ve been building, and we’re going to continue building houses – We’re going to build executive houses, we’re going to build one, two and three-bedroom houses. We are not going to build rabbit hutches – we’re going to build houses that people want to live in – and that’s the important part. These people are very well paid. The guys at Hinkley now, if you were to go into your local football or rugby club, you’ll find Hinkley people everywhere. We want them here.

There will be two accommodation blocks built, one at what we call Novia, opposite Bridgwater College, and a second at the plant, but we do want them in the community. We want the benefit of them being in our community, and spending money in our community. EDF do accept that there will be people coming down, and they’ll have their own facilities, but we want them in Bridgwater as well – we want the best of both worlds, and I think we can address that.

Are there enough school places as well?

We have built two brand new secondary schools, and plan to build two brand new support secondary schools. We have also started to build a brand new kindergarten. We do understand that there are challenges for schools, but every head knows what they must do to accommodate the pupils that we may or may not get. We are fully aware of the issues, the challenges and the risk to those challenges.

How might this affect tourism in the area?

We’ve had nuclear here since 1957, and it hasn’t stopped people coming down. Butlins in Minehead is a huge destination, Exmoor is a huge destination. Bridgwater itself isn’t a tourist destination, and never has been – because it’s an industrial town, and we do industry. It’s not going to affect anything.

There is controversy about the agreement between EDF and the Government – some people saying that this is essentially subsidising EDF. What do you think about this?

You could say that about wind turbines, you could say that about onshore and offshore wind, you could say that about the barrage – about any sort of energy production in this country. This isn’t a subsidy – it’s buying on a mortgage. If you go out to these wind turbines, that produce diddly-squat in terms of power, and are basically a waste of time, that’s a bigger problem for Bridgwater than a nuclear power station. The common sense answer is this, a way of getting nuclear power stations built, for no money out of the public pocket – and that is the UK national decision.

The European Union is only looking at this because Germany switched their nuclear power off, and now have a power deficit, and Austria are dead against nuclear power. Between Hinkley Point and a company wanting to build wind turbines on the M5, I had more letters and bigger public meetings about the wind turbines than about the nuclear power station. Hinkley Point is something that will keep going once the wind stops blowing.

We made a decision under Tony Blair that we can’t rely on anywhere else for our energy – we can’t depend on Russia, Ukraine, the Americans – we must have energy security. We have done a lot of work and put a lot of money into bio-plants, we are looking into barrage and other options. At the end of the day, it comes back to the baseline – you need something to produce raw energy. You need something powerful – you need nuclear. Nuclear power is supported by all three major parties in the UK – people can see that this is an energy source that is safe.

 This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.

The accommodation situation: homes for workers at Hinkley Point

Accommodation is likely to become a key issue in the run-up to expansion at Hinkley Point. EDF Energy estimate that the period of construction over nearly 10 years will provide 25,000 employment opportunities, with estimates of 5,000 workers in the area at a time.

Current statistics listing the number of construction workers at Hinkley Point show that about half of the workforce are already permanent residents in Somerset. EDF claim that, of the 282 construction workers on site in 2012, 144 (51%) were permanent Somerset residents, and 43 (15%) were permanent residents from outside of Somerset, but within their assumed daily commute zone, which stretches from Devon in the West to Bristol in the east, and includes parts of Dorset and South Wales. 95 of the construction workers, or 34% of the workforce, were permanent residents outside of the assumed daily commute zone.

However, given that expansion will bring in many more construction workers, it is likely that a large workforce will need to be brought in from other areas. To this end, EDF Energy has pledged to build accommodation for 2,000 people, with one block being based on-site, and the other being based in Bridgwater. However, this would still leave around 3,000 workers relying on the local housing market in the surrounding area and Bridgwater.


Matt Nicklin helps run Accommodation Hinkley, a site that helps connect people coming to work at Hinkley Point with accommodation, be it spare rooms, apartments or spare holiday homes.

Accommodation Hinkley has humble beginnings. Matt said: “Me and a friend made a website to advertise places to stay at my pub – and we decided to expand it so that people can advertise their own places on it. We found that it actually works – people are using it to find accommodation.”

Matt has high hopes for the development at Hinkley Point C. He said: “Rents haven’t been as high recently, but I hope that the number of people coming, the demand will help me to put prices back up, to help my business.”

“Things slowed down and rents dropped when C station was mothballed a few years back, and there’s still speculation that it could happen again, but hopefully things will hold up this time. We aim a lot of our accommodation at security – they’re the first people to arrive, and the last to leave, so we didn’t suffer too badly.”

He doesn’t fear that there won’t be enough places for workers. “EDF say there will be 25,000 temporary jobs in construction, but that should only be about 5000 at a time. They are building accommodation for 2,000 people, so 3,000 will need to be taken up by local businesses. A lot of people knew what was going to happen with Hinkley Point C, and have invested in accommodation, so hopefully there shouldn’t be a shortage.”

The homes for 2,000 people will be based in two primary locations – space for 500 people on-site at Hinkley Point, with the rest located at a campus in Bridgwater itself, near to Bridgwater College.

Matt does have worries about how the development will affect the housing market in the area. He said: “It is difficult, though. You don’t really know how the local area will hold up – I mean, this is going to be the biggest building site in Europe when it gets the go ahead. Normally, you notice a bit of an influx in the area, but not everything is full.

“Also, some of them will get long-term jobs, and eventually buy their own properties closer to the station.

“There are funds in place for a variety of things, to upgrade fire alarms and for home improvements. They’re really trying to get the local community involved in renting spare rooms.”

MP Ian Liddell-Grainger also addressed the issue of housing. In my interview with him, he said: ” We’ve been building, and we’re going to continue building houses – We’re going to build executive houses, we’re going to build one, two and three-bedroom houses. We are not going to build rabbit hutches – we’re going to build houses that people want to live in.”

Matt’s primary worry about the expansion is road transport. He said: “When they’re changing staff on the site, I can sometimes wait up to 20 minutes in traffic. There is limited road access to the site, only one road, and the work means that lorries will constantly be coming and going. If a vehicle breaks down or there is an accident on this road, everything is going to stop – there is no alternative way in.”

Others are worried that the number of construction workers will affect those on housing benefit.


The fight against expansion – Stop Hinkley

Not all people are supportive of nuclear expansion taking place in the South West. Some feel that, following the disaster in Japan at Fukushima in 2011, nuclear expansion should be halted, and safer, more environmentally-friendly energy sources should be embraced.

“Stop Hinkley” is the most prominent protest group against the expansion and continuing operation of the Nuclear Power station at Hinkley Point. It was founded in the 1980s, to protest against a new reactor that was to be known as Hinkley C. Thanks in part to their campaigning, the reactor was shelved in 1996. Furthermore, in 1999, thanks to continuous campaigning, Hinkley A was closed, citing that the station had lost its credibility.

Nikki Clark, spokesperson for the organisation, feels that the reasons for opposing the expansion at Hinkley Point cannot be explained simply. She said: “There isn’t just one reason. People oppose nuclear power for all sorts of reasons, from environmental ones to issues of safety.”


Stop Hinkley published an ecological assessment of the site in 2011. In their assessment, they conclude that EDF Energy have not done enough to protect the environment in the area of the build. It says: “As an example of this nowhere in the application is the total biodiversity loss clearly stated. Baseline ecological data for many major groups are missing. Notable omissions are those for small mammals, bryophytes, lichens, fungi and soil arthropods.

“How can EDF demonstrate that there has been no net loss in biodiversity under Planning Policy Statement 9 (PPS9) if baseline data has not first been established?”

The site is adjacent to the Severn Estuary Special Area of Conservation, the Severn Estuary Special Protection Area and the Severn Estuary Ramsar site, as well as adjoining the Bridgwater bay Site of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserve. Therefore, Stop Hinkley claims that the biodiversity and habitats in the area need more protections than EDF have been giving them.


The organisation feels that the impact on wildlife at the site are based on guesswork, and that EDF has not truly assessed the ecological impact that their construction will have on the area. They found no evidence that a Habitat Regulation Assessment had been done. They claim that the assessment of Hinkley Point’s environmental impact does not follow good practice guidelines.

The report further states the effect that expansion would have on the environment at the site. It says: “Habitat destruction within the proposed site will be almost total. All plant communities above ground will be removed and all available habitats to animals lost for many years.”

It continues: “Without more ecological data it is difficult to see how EDF have applied the principles of sustainable development to the proposed development site. Avoidance, minimisation, mitigation and compensation for ecological impacts are made difficult without appropriate ecological data to inform the process. Habitat creation is a challenging process at the best of times, but is almost impossible if you lack a full understanding of the species composition and relative abundance of a site in the first place.”

Overall, Stop Hinkley criticises EDF Energy for their proposal. They state: “Stop Hinkley is in strong agreement with Somerset Wildlife Trust, which says that ‘biodiversity is declining rapidly in the UK, as elsewhere in the world. It is of paramount importance that development benefits wildlife, rather than contributing to its ongoing losses’.

“EDF have failed to present a proposal that reflects their stated ‘environmental responsibility’ and are driving forward an application which exacerbates the local trend of wildlife decline.”

Nikki Clark also feels that the development will not benefit the local community in the way that EDF claim. She said: “They’re not going to get jobs locally. People are going to come from further afield to work on the site. And, with the nuclear development, I can’t see that many people wanting to holiday here.”

However, she is optimistic about the fight against Hinkley Point C, in particular due to the inquiry by the European Commission over the legality of the deal between EDF and the UK government. She said: “I can’t see EDF making a decision until this legal decision has been made. Nothing is going ahead right now, not until the Commission comes to a decision. EDF aren’t going to invest money into this until they are sure they can make returns.”