A CAMPAIGN group is urging a council to delay making a decision on allowing site investigations for a new power station because of coronavirus.

Developer CGN has applied to carry out the works on the site for Bradwell B.

If approved it would see the company conduct ground investigations, load tests and other associated works in connection to the proposed project.

But the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) says making the decision amid the pandemic would be undemocratic.

A spokesman from BANNG said: “The decision on the site investigations is likely to be taken at a time when, owing to the coronavirus, normal meetings of the council with public involvement are not possible, so normal democratic processes do not apply.

“A decision on an issue so significant as this should not be confined to a planning director advised by three members of the council.

“BANNG, therefore urges the council to ensure the decision is suspended, at least until the council can properly meet.”

BANNG does not believe a new power station at the site is needed and campaigns against the proposals.

The decision will be made by Maldon District Council.

A council spokesman said it would be required to decide the application “on its own merits” in accordance with legislation.

He added: “Whilst the council can understand some frustration with the current process, the Government has been clear in their guidance that the planning system must continue to function at this time.

“Therefore, Maldon District Council has a duty to determine this application in a timely manner a deferral would leave the council open to appeal for non-determination.

“The current application will be assessed based on the submission and if the planning application is granted it will not mean that works on a new nuclear power station can commence.

“It should also not be read that the outcome of the current planning application will influence the council’s consultation response on the provision of a new nuclear power station within the District.

“The council considers that the level of public comments received during the consultation process evidences that there has been effective public engagement, even at this challenging time.”