The UK government has granted development consent to the 3.2GW Sizewell C nuclear power project to be developed by French energy company EDF in Suffolk, England.

The approval takes the project a step closer to the start of its construction.

According to EDF, some other approvals are needed before it can begin construction on the Sizewell C nuclear power project. These include a Nuclear Site Licence from the Office for Nuclear Regulation as well as permits from the UK Environment Agency.

The planning application for the project was submitted to the UK Planning Inspectorate by NNB Nuclear Generation (SZC), a subsidiary of EDF, in May 2020. It was accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate in late June 2020.

The Planning Inspectorate Chief Executive Sarah Richards said: “This Examination took place during the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions and the Examining Authority worked hard to ensure that local people, the local authorities – East Suffolk District and Suffolk County Council – and other Interested Parties were able to fully participate.

“The Examining Authority listened and gave full consideration to local views and the evidence gathered during the Examination before making its recommendation.”

The Sizewell C nuclear power project is expected to provide low carbon electricity to nearly six million homes. Besides, it will offset nearly nine million tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum by displacing fossil fuel electricity.

EDF said that negotiations with the British government on raising funds for the nuclear power project are going on. The French utility expects to take a financial investment decision in 2023.

Sizewell C financing director Julia Pyke said: “Energy costs will be lower with nuclear in the mix, so today’s decision is good news for bill-payers. The tried and tested funding arrangement we are proposing means that, by paying a small amount during construction, consumers will benefit in the long-term.

“Sizewell C will give a big boost to jobs and sills in nuclear supply chain companies across the country. It will strengthen the UK’s energy security and play a key role in our fight against climate change.”

Earlier this year, the UK government announced a £100m funding boost for the Sizewell C nuclear power project, which is expected to create up to 10,000 jobs in Suffolk and across the UK.