TALKS between Maldon District Council and Bradwell B are set to be paused due to the disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic.

The council received a letter from BRB chief executive Alan Rayment requesting a temporary pause.

The Bradwell B project group hopes to make more progress on the 'technical aspects of their work' and return in at least a year’s time.

Council leader Wendy Stamp said: “Maldon District Council has actively engaged with BRB up until now, to identify the impacts their application for a new nuclear plant will have on the District and directly at Bradwell on Sea.

“We are under no illusion in thinking that the application for a new nuclear site is going to go away and we will continue to keep an active eye on BRB’s plans and will reengage with them when they are ready to do so.”

“The letter received states ‘The Bradwell B project made strong progress in 2020 with the completion of our first stage of public consultation, completion of EIA Scoping and we benefitted from strong engagement with your team at Maldon District Council.

“Of course the year also brought some key challenges.

“The Covid-19 pandemic meant that we could not access the site as readily as we would have liked, and it also restricted the ability of some of our engineers to travel between the UK and China.

“In the case of the essential engagement with local authorities and other statutory stakeholders, we have decided that we need to temporarily put this on hold alongside the work we were doing to actively progress towards further stages of public consultation and our eventual development consent order application. This will of course begin again in future years.’

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A Bradwell B spokesman added: “In order to ensure that we take the project forward efficiently, this year we are prioritising technical aspects of our work, such as site feasibility, which will in turn feed into our development work in the future with the local authorities, when this is ready to be progressed.

Doing so will give us the strongest possible foundation for delivering Bradwell B efficiently and effectively and making our contribution to achieving the Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.