Permission for the trenches was requested by EdF in order to ascertain the nature and depth of the soil above rock in an area as close as 100 metres from nearby houses in Shurton. The planning committee threw out the application saying that there was no justification for so many trenches especially so near to the village. They were puzzled by the request for trenches so far away from the main part of the proposed nuclear power station and EdF did not send a representative to the planning meeting to offer any further details.
A number of objections had been raised by Shurton residents due to the potential for noise and dust. They had also criticised the level of detail contained in the application, saying it was difficult to make an informed judgement. The new EdF site for the two giant reactors at Hinkley covers about 500 acres. The main planning application is due to go to the Infrastructure Planning Commission as soon as 2nd August. It is not known how this decision will affect the main proposal.
It is understood that the existing Hinkley C project manager, Simon Dunford will be leaving his post which is being taken up by someone with a military background, David Eccles.
Jim Duffy from Stop Hinkley said: "This is a blow for EdF, showing they took for granted the approval of this piece of preliminary work required before they can build their giant reactors. It's dismal if such a big company misses the detail in their grandiose but fearsome plan and arrogant that it doesn't bother to send a representative to the council meeting. We congratulate West Somerset Council for representing local people in standing up to the industry."
Stop Hinkley Coordinator
Background planning papers including four pages on the Hinkley application (p15 to 19). Although the WSDC planning officers had earlier recommended acceptance of the application, with fuller inclusive discussion councillors rejected it at the planning meeting on 29th April.