Campaigners fighting the decision to give the go-ahead for Sizewell C have lost the latest stage of their legal battle with the Government.

Action groups, including Together Against Sizewell C (TASC), had appealed at the Court of Appeal on the basis that the environmental impact of a desalination plant to provide a permanent water supply for the new nuclear power station had not been taken into account when approval was given.

The move followed the High Court's decision to refuse a judicial review into the Government's decision to give the green light for Sizewell C.

READ MORE: Court of Appeal hearing into Sizewell C set to begin

The then-business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced the go-ahead for the new plant in July 2022, but on Wednesday the Court of Appeal announced the review had been rejected.

East Anglian Daily Times: Then-business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced the go-ahead for Sizewell C in 2022Then-business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announced the go-ahead for Sizewell C in 2022

Following the decision, a TASC spokesperson said: "We are dismayed by this decision and struggle to understand how the potable water supply that £30billion+ Sizewell C is totally reliant on for its 60 years of operation can be considered lawfully, or indeed rationally, as a separate project, particularly as its absence caused the panel of five expert planning inspectors to caution against Sizewell C being awarded planning consent."

READ MORE: Suffolk news

Appeal judges Sir Keith Lindblom, Lady Justice Andrews and Lord Justice Lewis had considered arguments at a Court of Appeal hearing in London in November, where the Government had argued it made "legitimate planning judgements".

The trio backed High Court judge Mr Justice Holgate, who had previously dismissed TASC's challenge.

In a written ruling, they said: “He correctly concluded that the Secretary of State was entitled in this case to regard the project as the power station, and that the provision of a permanent water supply was not part of that project but formed a different and separate project.”

They said Mr Justice Holgate had been “right to conclude” that it was “rational for the Secretary of State to defer appropriate assessment of the impact of the permanent water supply” under habitats regulations to a “later stage”, because the “information necessary for a proper assessment” was not available at the time of his decision on the application for “development consent for the power”.

French energy giant EDF, which is due to develop the plant, has said Sizewell C is expected to generate low-carbon electricity to supply six million homes.

Ministers have said the multibillion-pound project will create 10,000 highly-skilled jobs, with its go-ahead being welcomed by unions and the nuclear industry.

However, a Sizewell C spokesperson said: “After two previous High Court dismissals on this issue, we welcome today’s judgement and now look forward to the next steps for this project. 

“Sizewell C will play a key role in Britain’s clean energy future and this judgement comes at an exciting phase in the project’s development: following excellent progress of pre-commencement work this year, we’re now looking forward to beginning the construction phase in 2024. 

“Once built, Sizewell C will meet 7% of the UK’s energy needs for at least 60 years, strengthening Britain’s energy security, lowering bills and creating thousands of jobs locally and across Britain.”