I heard that due to the Coronavirus, normal meetings of the Maldon District Council with public involvement are not possible, instead the meetings will be restricted to online meetings with a Planning Director informed by three members of the Council. This may perhaps be adequate for a house extension but in the case of significant works in preparation for a huge Nuclear power plant it is surely undemocratic.

I strongly object and ask the council that the planning application 20/00157/FUL for the Bradwell B site investigations be refused or at least deferred. If approved in my view undemocratically and that work progressed this would potentially set the mindset of the public that Bradwell B is a done deal when it clearly is not. I understand that the council is receiving £15,000 a month from BRB to facilitate its work relating to Bradwell B, I do hope that this fee aids in facilitating a fair and democratic process for your residents. But I also hope that pressure from the Chinese company CGN directly or via BRB will not influence the Council in how it proceeds and distract it from what must be its primary duty to serve its community?. Apparently Colchester Council have postponed all decisions until a full planning committee can reconvene, why is it that Colchester can do this but Maldon have not? How can you proceed without allowing the public to present at such an important planning meeting? Surely that is wrong on so many levels?

I suspect the Council representatives may say they have a legal duty to proceed. Well surely firstly you have a legal and moral duty to protect your residents from Corporate sharp practice and to endeavour to maintain our well being? We have already seen a slick Public Consultation launched on the public in a rush in FULL knowledge a pandemic was coming our way. How could you support such a thing? That Public Consultation on such a very important matter is now, due to the virus, reduced to wholely ineffective online meetings while much of the community is overwhelmed with Coronavirus and/or engaged with the current circumstances.

All of this injustice is happening at a time when there are rapid advances in alternative methods of low carbon energy production. And also that energy demand has fallen significantly over the last decade and has not risen as originally expected, in fact a national review of energy policy is currently underway. Surely before allowing further distress to your residents and destroying more countryside, Bradwell B investigations should wait until the Government can confirm if a new nuclear power station is actually still needed. Hence I urge you please reject planning application 20/00157/FUL

Les Flack

St Lawrence Bay