“Lack of resolve on Sizewell C is part of a broader problem with how the East of England is treated by government”, says James Palmer.

The Government has delayed making a decision on whether to grant planning permission to Sizewell C, a proposed 3.2 gigawatt nuclear plant in Suffolk, to July 20. A final decision was supposed to be announced on 8 July, already six weeks later than planned. Business Minister Paul Scully said the delay “is to ensure there is sufficient time to allow the secretary of state to consider the proposal”.

Chair of the new Eastern Powerhouse, James Palmer, responds:

“The East of England is the only part of the UK with solar, wind, nuclear, oil and gas; and it is a leading light in green energy as well. Unfortunately, the government routinely fails to capitalise on these advantages – with the levelling up white paper glossing over the many unique opportunities offered by the region.

The current lack of resolve on Sizewell C is merely the latest symptom of a far broader problem in how the East is treated. This is a region with many world-leading companies working to deliver advanced solutions to the UK’s energy challenges. If the government wants to implement a coherent and bold energy security strategy, it will need to work with these actors rather than standing in their way.  

The Eastern Powerhouse is offering to work with government to develop a regional plan that will lead the country into a new era of sustainable energy. The East is already the fourth largest economy in the UK. However, with just a small amount of investment and resolve, it could contribute far more to sustainable energy and the wider UK economy than it is currently able to do”.

On Wednesday 13 July, James sent a letter to Secretary of State Kwasi Kwarteng MP outlining his concerns about the lack of a clear and coherent energy plan for the East of England.  

From the Letter:  

“I urge you to work with the Eastern Powerhouse to deliver an energy strategy for the East of England that takes advantage of our natural resources and delivers for the UK”.