High Court to hear protestors’ case against moving Sizewell B buildings onto historic woodland
PUBLISHED: 05:30 08 September 2020 | UPDATED: 08:32 08 September 2020
A judicial review into the felling of a historic woodland is set to take place today.
The legal challenge brought by Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) campaigner Joan Girling seeks to review the decision by East Suffolk Council to allow Coronation Wood to be chopped down as part of preparations to build a new twin reactor nuclear power station.
If approved buildings currently used to run Sizewell B could be moved to the site ahead of the construction of Sizewell C.
The buildings in question include the Sizewell B visitor centre, as well as training centres and their associated car parks.
Protestors argue that the felling of the trees will cause untold damage to an historic woodland, where some trees are around 100 years old.
They say that permission for the felling should not have been given ahead of permission being granted for the construction of Sizewell C.
A virtual hearing was held in June over Microsoft Teams to consider a bid for a judicial review, which was successful.
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Permission for the review was given based on the environmental plans for the site after differences in opinion were highlighted over whether the ecological advice was still up to date.
EDF argue that it will be planting more trees elsewhere and raised concerns about the quality of the existing trees which reside on the Coronation Wood site.
“We will provide any further information required to support the hearing,” said a spokesman for the company.
TASC Chair Pete Wilkinson said:“On the outcome of this judgement hangs the fate of a 100 year-old wood which is held in deep affection by the people of East Suffolk and those who live around Leiston and rely on the peace and tranquillity it offers. It is a refuge for a wide range of flora and fauna and part of our treasured heritage.
“The judge can surely only agree that the planning permission granted by East Suffolk Council was premature in that the EDF application to build Sizewell C is over a year away from being accepted or refused by the Secretary of State.
“The lack of an adequate Environmental Impact Assessment and the justification for allowing the premature destruction of the wood and the building of a 576-space carpark on a greenfield site in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is sufficient for our appeal to be upheld.”
A spokesman for East Suffolk Council said: “There is a Judicial Review of East Suffolk Council’s Planning Committee’s decision at the High Court and the Council will be defending its decision.”
The judicial review will be heard in the High Court today.
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