PLANS for a new £16bn nuclear power plant in Somerset which will create up to 25,000 jobs, came a step closure to fruition after the European Commission gave approval.

The commission had been investigating whether the terms of the deal struck between French firm EDF and the Government constituted illegal state aid for the build of Hinkley C.

They said that the UK had agreed to “significantly modify” the terms of the project financing, meaning taxpayers will not be burdened with large costs.

Commission vice-president Joaquín Almunia, in charge of competition policy, said: “After the Commission’s intervention, the UK measures in favour of Hinkley Point nuclear power station have been significantly modified, limiting any distortions of competition in the Single Market.

“These modifications will also achieve significant savings for UK taxpayers.

On this basis and after a thorough investigation, the Commission can now conclude that the support is compatible with EU state aid rules.”

The plant, which could be ready and working by 2023, is expected to employ around 900 people and supply 7% of the UK’s energy need.

BURNHAM’S MP Tessa Munt said the decision to give Hinkley C the go-ahead needs to be handled carefully so the people of Somerset get the best out of it. 

Ms Munt said now the decision had been made by the European Commission and the nuclear plant would be built she said it was important that the thousands of jobs on offer went to local people and that residents would be protected from any negative impact such as traffic problems and disruption. 

She said: “The fall-out from the decision, now it’s been made, needs to be considered carefully, so the people in the communities are protected from the disruption that this could potentially cause. 

“First of all we need to make sure that as many jobs as possible go to local people as well as contracts for the work on the plant. 

“Also we need to be aware that this could have a major impact on bookings at B&Bs in the area which will be filled up with workers. 

"This could disrupt our important tourism industry for some time while the building takes place. 

“Also I do wonder about the issue of waste. 

"They have been saying there is a solution for the last 60 years but what it is is unclear. 

"However that is in the past we now must look ahead and get the best out of Hinkley for everyone.”

Leader of Somerset County Council, Cllr John Osman, said: “This is great news and a giant step forward.

“The Hinkley C development will transform our county’s economy in years to come, and having this high-profile development on our doorstep confirms Somerset as a serious destination for business growth in Britain.”

Labour's Southwest Region MEP Clare Moody welcomed the news.

Clare Moody said: “Hinkley Point will provide the highquality, long-term jobs and sustainable growth for local communities that are a priority for me as a Member of the European Parliament for the Southwest Region.

However Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West, pledged to continue the fight against the new nuclear power station.

She said: “In waving through the massively problematic Hinkley C deal, the outgoing Barroso-led EU Commission is giving a cynical boost to nuclear power.

“There can be no doubt that the generous terms being offered by the UK government to EDF on Hinkley C amounts to illegal state aid under EU rules.

“It is a scandal that one of the final acts of the Barroso Commission is to turn a blind eye to the illegality of the Hinkley deal.

“This deal, and the precedent it creates, is a massive setback for renewable energy in the South- West and the rest of the UK. Greens will support any legal challenges that may present themselves.”