EDF Energy is once again in talks with Somerset Council to negotiate an increase in workers on the site.

Cllr Leigh Redman, Bridgwater Town Council spokesperson for Nuclear Issues, said that the original development consent order (DCO) signed by the secretary of state, indicated that at peak the number of workers on site would be 5,600.

This number was since raised to 8,600 due to the conversion of Pontins in Brean to become an accommodation site for Hinkley Point C workers, which is now full.

Back in November 2023, EDF Energy approached the council to bring the workforce to over 10,000 as the project entered its 'peak construction phase'.

There are now over 11,000 workers at Hinkley Point C, and EDF plans to bring in more staff in the near future.

Cllr Redman said that although he appreciates the good things EDF Energy has brought to Bridgwater, he feels people are losing out on housing due to the company's 'disregard for limits set and agreed'. 

The Bridgwater Town Councillor also explained that he frequently receives messages from people struggling to find affordable properties to rent locally, including one family of three squashed into a third floor flat with nowhere to go.

"Him and his partner have a new born child, live in a third floor flat, do not claim any form of benefit, and he has been looking for a place to rent that will not require his partner to carry the baby and pram up three flights of stairs," Cllr Redman explained.

"He wants a bit of grass for his child to play on.

"The first thing they check each morning and the last thing they check at night are the properties to rent in Bridgwater, their home town, but every time he sees a property, if it even makes it to an advert, there is a list of more than 20 other people looking and the estate agent seeks highest bidder for the rent.

"I am getting calls like this on a weekly basis along with others who are being told to move on by some landlords looking to cash in, while at the same time, EDFe are asking for an increase in workforce, an increase at peak that they are already breaching."

He also called upon EDF for more local councillor involvement, and urged Somerset Council to help implement this.

In response, Andrew Cockcroft, Head of Stakeholder Relations at EDF, said: "As Hinkley Point C moves into peak construction and the workforce grows, we will be working with Somerset Council and wider community groups to ensure that we continue to limit any impact on the local area.

"Thousands of local people are helping to build this critical piece of national infrastructure and are benefiting from job and training opportunities across Somerset and beyond.” 

A spokesperson for Somerset Council added: "EDF has approached the Council to discuss workforce numbers and we are engaging with them to see what implications this might have on our local communities."