AECOM has been appointed by the Sizewell C project to develop an interactive environmental statement (IES) which aims to enhance stakeholder engagement.
In addition to generating reliable low carbon electricity for the UK, the proposed nuclear power station in Suffolk will create thousands of jobs and business opportunities, contributing to the recovery of the economy as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. AECOM has been working with Sizewell C to prepare and coordinate the environmental statement (ES) for the project.
The Sizewell C IES represents the largest, most complex and ambitious digital ES seen in the UK. The new and improved design will assist stakeholders when reviewing the ES, allowing them to easily curate their own journey into the 40,000-page document. Although the new IES for Sizewell C is presented as a single interactive website, it consists of eight standalone digital environmental statements - one for each of Sizewell C’s development sites. Therefore, the tailored format will provide stakeholders with the opportunity to explore all aspects of the project in a clear and simple format.
Complex infrastructure projects can sometimes struggle to make the most of stakeholder engagement, particularly when it comes to the communication of complex environmental information. By implementing this new approach, developers will be given the opportunity to create and maintain positive relationships with the community and other relevant stakeholders.
Digital tools such as the Sizewell C EIS also have the potential to streamline the consultation and examination stages of the Development Consent Order process. Such tools and approaches are increasingly seen as important by environmental impact assessment practitioners and planning bodies as the industry seeks to achieve higher levels of accessibility and transparency.
Ross Stewart, AECOM’s principal environmental scientist, said: “AECOM’s digital reporting platform will help simplify large amounts of data, making it more accessible for users. This approach enables individuals to better understand and appreciate potential interactions of the project with the environment and their local communities.”
Richard Bull, Sizewell C programme manager, said: “The interactive environment statement and other online tools we are providing will make our plans as accessible as possible to ensure people can fully engage in the planning process. This is important as Sizewell C will deliver a massive boost to the east of England and beyond in terms of jobs, skills, training and business contracts and help the UK reach strict climate change targets.”