EDF Energy has announced today, 26th March, it has postponed the presentation of its application for a Development Consent Order to build Sizewell C.
It was due to be submitted by the end of this month, but the energy company said it has been delayed by a few weeks to allow local communities enough time to review the application and take part.
EDF Energy's Managing Director of Nuclear Development, Humphrey Cadous-Hudson, said: "We are ready to submit the application but we recognise that many people in Suffolk, including the Local Authorities, are adjusting to new circumstances created by the coronavirus crisis.
"We will defer the submission for a few weeks and once submitted we will extend the period for registration to make it easier for people to participate.
"During more than 8 years of consultation we have worked hard to be transparent and to allow everyone who has an interest in the project to have their say. We will continue to do so in these difficult times."
Meanwhile Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council are happy with the decision to delay the process amid the current climate.
In a joint statement they agreed it was important to do so to ensure residents were able to have their say.
They said: "Both Suffolk County Council and East Suffolk Council absolutely agree that this is the right decision for EDF Energy to take at this moment in time.
"We believe there is no other choice for them to take during such a difficult time for us all as we focus on fighting the effect of Covid-19 across Suffolk.
"Given the critical need for our communities to have the ability to fully engage with the consultation and decision making process that forms a valuable part of the Government’s formal Development Consent Order, we are relieved to hear EDF Energy has given due consideration to the timescales for making their submission and will delay for a number of weeks.
"We are now keen to understand what this means as we all currently expect to be living with the effects and restrictions surrounding Covid-19 for some time to come and we would not be happy to see anything done that restricts the community in taking an active part in the decision making process."
The two authorities concluded they are keen to keep talking to EDF Energy about when it will be appropriate to submit the application.