ICM poll finds ‘strong local support’ for Sizewell C

A new opinion poll conducted by ICM found that the majority of respondents in East Suffolk are in favour of building Sizewell C.

Sizewell C, artist's impression
Sizewell C, artist's impression - EDF

The survey showed that 61 per cent of respondents support plans for the new power station, while 24 per cent are opposed. 

ICM interviewed 1000 East Suffolk residents after Sizewell C was granted a Development Consent Order. Local respondents, 800 of which were interviewed by telephone and 200 online, were surveyed between 27th July and 5th September 2022.

Sizewell C said the results have shown that residents are looking forward to the economic opportunities the power station will bring to East Suffolk. Most respondents (66 per cent) said they believe it will bring jobs and training to the area while 59 per cent agreed that the benefits would outweigh any temporary disruption during construction.

Those surveyed also indicated strong support in reducing carbon emissions to net zero (86 per cent), with a large majority (70 per cent) saying that nuclear was needed as part of the energy mix. 70 per cent of respondents also said that nuclear could help Britain become more self-sufficient.

When a similar survey was conducted in November 2020, 58 per cent of respondents said they were in favour of Sizewell C whilst 27 per cent were opposed.

Tom McGarry, Sizewell C’s head of regional engagement said that Sizewell C has always had the support of a quiet majority due to its ‘once-in-a-generation’ offer of opportunities for jobs, training and growing prosperity.

“It will also continue Suffolk’s decades-long expertise in generating nuclear power for the country. While these results show supporters outnumber opponents by a big margin, we recognise that a number of local people have understandable concerns about the construction phase,” McGarry said in a statement.

“We will continue to work with them to make sure we reduce disruption to the minimum level possible and maximise the benefits this project can offer.”

EDF and the government are continuing negotiations on an agreement to provide £700m in development funding for Sizewell C. The project was last week highlighted as one of the UK infrastructure projects to be accelerated under the Plan for Growth announced by chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.