The Planning Inspectorate has formally accepted proposals to build a new nuclear plant at Wylfa on Anglesey, allowing the project’s developer Horizon Nuclear Power to move the scheme to the next stage.
Horizon submitted a development consent order at the beginning of June, and following a 28-day statutory review period by the Planning Inspectorate, this has now advanced to allow a consultation stage to begin.
Horizon’s application for four other environmental permits have also been cleared, which will allow them to be assessed by Natural Resources Wales via a public consultation.
The news follows an announcement by business and energy secretary Greg Clark, who confirmed last month the Government had entered a period of negotiations with Horizon to support the scheme.
The development consent order process is expected to take around 22 months to complete, and Horizon is targeting a 2020 start for major earthworks.
Once built by 2027, Wylfa Newydd will provide 2.9GW of energy using two reactors, the design of which was approved by authorities in late 2017.
Duncan Hawthorne, chief executive of Horizon Nuclear Power, said: “This is a significant milestone for Horizon and an important step on the path to having all the permissions we need to build Wylfa Newydd.”
“The power station will not only deliver huge benefits for Anglesey, where it will provide top-quality employment for local people and significant opportunities for local businesses, but it will also play a key role in the UK’s energy future, delivering much-needed low carbon, safe and secure power for decades to come.”
Horizon is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japanese giant Hitachi.