PENARTH Town Council has passed a motion in response to plans by EDF Energy to deposit 600,000 m3 of sediment in the Severn Estuary near Penarth Beach.

The company, who are in pre-application discussions with Natural Resources Wales, previously dumped sediment there in 2018 as part of construction work for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset.

Last month, EDF Energy submitted plans for sampling and testing the sediment at the Hinkley Point C site, which will need to be approved by NRW before a formal application to dump more material can be made.

At a meeting on Thursday February 27, the Penarth Town Council voted to pass a motion which asks NRW and EDF to 'improve' on their engagement with the public.

It said: "The council recognises the strong public concern and strength of feeling by Penarth residents over the safety of the sediment being dredged and transported from Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

"We ask NRW/EDF, as part of their six-week public consultation to improve on the previous public consultation, and ask for a more robust engagement with the public."

Plans by EDF to dump sediment in the sea near Penarth attracted opposition from local anti-nuclear groups in 2018, and a petition signed by over 7,000 people triggered a Senedd debate.

However, the Welsh Government rejected calls to withdraw the Marine Licence which allowed EDF to dump the sediment.

A public consultation on the new plan is currently being held until Wednesday March 18.

The council motion asks EDF and Natural Resources Wales to take part in a public consultation event in Penarth, where residents can ask questions about the proposals and express their concerns.

Both organizations are invited to deliver a presentation to Vale and Penarth town councillors.

The motion continues: "We ask that as part of their consultation, that baseline readings of the estuary are taken by an independent international body.

"These baseline readings should include the sediment at the depth to be excavated.

"These tests should include alpha spectrometry and chemical toxicity assessments, before the commencement of dredging."

A spokesman for EDF Energy said: "We have yet to receive the requests from Penarth Town Council but we do welcome further engagement and will of course review all requests in detail and respond directly.”

To comment on the current plans, visit NRW’s consultation page at: