Campaigners are calling for a public consultation to be halted and return when the coronavirus pandemic is over.

The Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG) is repeating its call for the public consultation on Bradwell B to be stopped and rerun at later date.

The team behind the new nuclear power plant extend the consultation for a further five weeks, allowing more time for the community to engage with the proposals and provide feedback, meaning the consultation will now end on July 1.

Andy Blowers, chair of BANNG, said: "We are amazed that the developer, CGN, is urging people to focus attention on the risks to environment and health from a possible future nuclear power station at Bradwell while families are trying to cope with the immediate threat to life and wellbeing from infection.

"It is impossible to participate fully in a consultation in conditions of social distancing.

"Having torn the heart out of the process, BRB is nevertheless persisting with its consultation by introducing virtual interactive activities and telephone surgeries as a substitute for the cancelled exhibitions.

"There is no way that the vitality of community interaction and critical discussion involved in face-to-face meetings can be achieved virtually.

In a letter to Andrew Murdoch, Project Development Director at Bradwell B, Andy said: "We maintain the view that continuing with the consultation, albeit extended, is unnecessary and inappropriate at a time when the country remains in partial lockdown. "Accordingly, we must press again our view that the consultation be cancelled and rerun at a time when the public can be fully engaged through exhibitions, public meetings and other interactions.

"‘BANNG remains of the view that the coronavirus epidemic creates a pause in many aspects of life, including working practices, social interaction and a shift from the public to the domestic realm. "These are not the most appropriate circumstances in which to conduct a consultation on a future nuclear power station."