Hinkley Point nuclear power station consent given after 'rigorous examination'
A new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point will help "bring major investment, support jobs and drive growth", according to Energy Secretary Ed Davey.
Mr Davey announced to the House of Commons this afternoon that planning consent had been given for the new Hinkley C reactor.
The decision to give the green light to the £14 billion project follows what Mr Davey described as a "rigorous examination and detailed analysis".
The plant will generate enough low carbon electricity to power the equivalent of five million households, making it one of the largest power stations in the UK.
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Two new reactors will be built, supporting between 20,000 and 25,000 jobs during construction and 900 permanent jobs during operation.
Mr Davey said: “The planning decision to give consent to Hinkley Point follows a rigorous examination from the Planning Inspectorate, and detailed analysis within my Department.
“I am confident that the planning decision I have made is robust, evidence-based, compatible with the Energy National Policy Statements and is in the best interests of the country.
“It’s vital to get investment in new infrastructure to get the economy moving. Low carbon energy projects will bring major investment, supporting jobs and driving growth.
“This planned project adds to a number of new energy projects consented since May 2010, including wind farms and biomass and gas-fired power stations.
“This planned new nuclear power station in Somerset will generate vast amounts of clean energy and enhance our energy security. It will benefit the local economy, through direct employment, the supply chain and the use of local services.”
The Planning Inspectorate’s chief executive, Sir Michael Pitt, said: "This was the largest application to be handled by the Planning Inspectorate under the Planning Act 2008 and required a panel of five examining inspectors who were given the task of considering the evidence put to them by the interested parties.
“A major priority for us over the course of the examination was to ensure that communities who might be affected by this proposal had the opportunity to put forward their views.
“The examination of the application was completed within the timescales prescribed in the Planning Act and a recommendation made to the Energy Secretary. Today’s decision by the Energy Secretary supports that recommendation.”