Sizewell/Darsham: Why are homeowners preparing to launch a class action lawsuit against EDF Energy and the government over Sizewell C?

Sizewell C, artist's impression

Sizewell C, artist's impression - Credit: Archant

Homeowners who claim power plant proposals have left their properties unsaleable are preparing a class action lawsuit against those involved in the project.

Leonora Van Gils, who owns a country house in Darsham, close to where EDF Energy is proposing to build a park and ride for Sizewell C construction workers, is leading the legal challenge and inviting others to join her.

Speaking during a public meeting about Sizewell C in Yoxford last week, she said the behaviour of EDF and the government, in respect to the project, had been “absolutely scandalous”.

“The people who cannot sell their homes because of Sizewell C are prisoners in their homes,” she said. “I’m hoping if we get enough people together to form a class action lawsuit it will cause huge embarrassment for the government and could maybe get us somewhere.”

Three other homeowners, who say the threat of increased traffic has affected their property values, contacted Ms Van Gils after the meeting and have asked to join her legal battle.

They will meet with solicitors tomorrow evening to discuss the options available.

Ms Van Gils claims the park and ride would ruin the views from her home and has left it unsalable in the 18 months it has been on the market. She said major projects should not be left hanging over communities unresolved for years.

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“Many people have been affected by this and we are all in a very tricky situation – it’s extremely stressful.”

An EDF spokesman said the company was aware of residents’ concerns and would be working with the local community to put appropriate mitigation measures in place as it developed more detailed plans for stage two of its consultation.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change said local people can have their say in any large infrastructure – in this case by contacting EDF.