EDF Energy has submitted a planning application to West Somerset Council for preparation work at the site for two proposed new Hinkley Point nuclear reactors.

During talks between the local authority and EDF at the House of Commons last week, West Somerset Council leader Cllr Tim Taylor said it could refuse or delay giving planning permission if the application lacked enough detail.

He added: “I have also impressed upon them the need to consider the broader impacts of this massive project and the potentially negative effects on the wider area.”

He emphasised the impact of roads and transport infrastructure on commuter and visitor traffic and stressed that EDF workers should be integrated into the community, not isolated on campuses.

An EDF spokesman said: “The application is being made now so that if planning permission is granted for the power station itself, the necessary infrastructure will be in place to allow construction to start as early as possible, with minimum disruption to local communities.”

Richard Mayson, EDF Energy’s director of planning and external affairs for nuclear new build, said: “We will ensure that any significant adverse effects are appropriately mitigated in a way which is environmentally responsible and sensitive both to the needs of the community and to the strategies of the relevant local authorities.”

The application includes the removal of hedgerows, woodland and grassland, as well as drainage works, fencing and providing roads for future construction traffic, as detailed during EDF Energy’s consultation process.

The local authority will carry out further consultations before making a decision, expected before next spring.

EDF Energy has said it will reinstate the site if the application fails.