EDF Energy has announced today that it has exchanged contracts for the acquisition of the Dungeness Estate in Kent.
The sale of the Dungeness Estate became public knowledge back in August when Strutt & Parker brought the estate to the open market on behalf of the existing owners.
The 468 acre estate is designated as a National Nature Reserve, a Special Area of Conservation and an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and EDF Energy has stated its intention to continue to work with the local community and special interest groups in respect of the management of this unique environment.
The energy company owns and operates Dungeness B nuclear power station, adjacent to the estate, and is the biggest employer in the area boosting the local economy by over £40 million each year.
Maurice Ede, Trustee for the estate said “After the decision was made to sell the estate it was important the purchaser would have the ability, track record and correct intentions of maintaining an estate such as this and we are very happy to be passing that responsibility to EDF Energy.”
Martin Pearson, station director at Dungeness B said: “We’re delighted to be the purchasers of the estate and want to reassure the community that it is our intention to be a responsible owner of the land. Dungeness B has been a huge part of the community for over 30 years; many of our employees live in the area and we bring business to local suppliers. We’ve always worked alongside the local community to preserve and enhance this unique environment and EDF Energy is committed to this.”
EDF Energy has a strong track record in protecting and enhancing biodiversity: each of its nuclear sites, including Dungeness, has been awarded the Wildlife Trust’s Biodiversity Benchmark Certification. Some of the positive recent news from Dungeness includes increasing numbers of the rare Sussex Emerald Moth and the first population of tree crickets to be identified in the UK.
Will Whittaker of Strutt & Parker said “Despite the great interest generated from around the world, the Trustees and Strutt & Parker are delighted to have agreed a sale to a neighbour who is already familiar with and committed to the area.”
The power station sends out a community report every month and the Site Stakeholder Group, made up of local stakeholders, residents, councillors and businesses, meet twice a year to discuss site activities.
The station is very keen to ensure the community are well-informed about the acquisition of the estate and have arranged a drop-in session, as well as a specific email address to ask any questions.
Legal completion will follow in line with the agreed contractual arrangements and EDF Energy will be responsible for managing the land only following legal completion.