PROPOSALS to clear a 740 acre site to build the multi-billion pound Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station are being recommended for approval by planning chiefs.

Horizon Nuclear Power is seeking planning permission to carry out the 15 month long process that includes clearing field boundaries, demolishing buildings and “relocating species”, covering an area the equivalent of almost 500 football pitches.

The plans, to be discussed by Anglesey Council’s planning committee next week, also include building car parks and offices at the site on the outskirts of Cemaes.

Recommended for approval by officers, Horizon has endeavoured to begin the work even before the fate is known of the necessary Development Consent Order (DCO) application for the nuclear plant itself.

A process that could take at least 18 months for the Planning Inspectorate to decide upon, the DCO will also include a substantial public consultation period.

According to the report that will be presented to the planning committee on Wednesday, the developers have promised to restore the site to its current condition if plans for a nuclear plant fall through.

However, the application is opposed by a group of neighbouring community councils who feel that no such works should take place until the DCO is in place.

The North Anglesey Partnership, consisting of Amlwch, Llaneilian, Llanbadrig, Rhosybol, Mechell and Cylch y Garn community councils, has raised concerns over the timing and lack of information made available by Horizon, stating that with “so many unanswered questions,” no site clearance should take place until full approval is in place.

Llanbadrig Community Council’s own submission, while backing the nuclear plant in principle, went on to say: “There is still much doubt about whether this project will proceed, particularly in the prevailing environment of uncertainty exacerbated by the era of Trump and Brexit.

“Horizon seem to recognize this uncertainty in their reluctance to proceed with the by-passes ahead of DCO approval. Site clearance should only proceed in parallel with the construction of by-passes when there is certainty that both are necessary.

“There is credible risk that allowing the SPC to proceed before planning for the new Power Station is approved will subject the communities of North Anglesey to unnecessary disruption and damage to their environment over many years.”

But planning officers are recommending that councillors should give the green light and that allowing early site clearance work would hasten the build’s timescale.

As well as site clearance works, the application also includes building a main site compound with welfare facilities and offices as well as installing fencing around the perimeter.

Three vehicle crossings will also be put in place to accommodate construction vehicles.

The officers’ recommendation notes that “on balance, there is a principle need for the development” at this time which would “facilitate early delivery” of a new nuclear power station.”

“The urgency – which is of identified national importance – is considered to sufficiently outweigh concerns including that the site preparation application is ‘premature’ vis a vis the DCO process.

“On balance it is considered that the development, subject to suitable mitigation measures, will make a positive contribution in helping to develop the economy without causing unacceptable impacts to the environment or the local community.

“While a number of people have raised objections based on their opposition to Nuclear Power in general, this application will not permit the construction of a Power Station and interim waste storage facility – this is a matter for the Secretary of State to consider when they examine any application made to them in due course for a generating station and any such storage facility.

The application will be discussed during a special sitting of Anglesey Council’s planning committee when it meets in Llangefni on Wednesday morning.