Kent MP upbeat over hopes for new Dungeness Nuclear plant following Chancellor's statement

Contributed by editor on Dec 19, 2011 - 08:50 AM

Dungeness could yet see a new nuclear power station being built after hopes were raised by the recent announcement in the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

In his Autumn Statement, George Osborne said: "We will make sure that gold plating of EU rules on things like Habitats aren’t placing ridiculous costs on British businesses”.

Damian Collins has written to the Chancellor welcoming his remarks and said the EU regulations have had a significant impact on Romney Marsh.

The Folkestone and Hythe MP said in his letter: “As you know, since I was elected I have done all I can to ensure that Dungeness in my constituency is approved as one of the sites for the next generation of nuclear power stations.

“The nuclear industry is responsible for over 1,000 jobs in my constituency, and is by far the largest employer in Romney Marsh. The current Dungeness B power station is due to be decommissioned in 2018 and without a replacement this will be a significant blow to the local economy.”

He said the original decision not to include Dungeness on the list for new nuclear build was made on the basis of recommendations from Natural England, due to its closeness to protected bird and shingle habitats.

However much of this land has already been disturbed during the construction of the existing power stations and the total loss of land would be less than 1 per cent of the entire protected area.

Mr Collins asked the Chancellor that, “in the review of the habitats regulations you announced, specific consideration be given to the proposed nuclear site at Dungeness?”

Hawkinge Gazette and Channel Coast News 2011©