Judicial review given the go-ahead as campaigners continue to fight Sizewell B plans

Substantial felling of Coronation Wood would take place to create space for new buildings at Sizewel

Substantial felling of Coronation Wood would take place to create space for new buildings at Sizewell B Picture: MIKE PAGE AERIAL PHOTO LIBRARY - Credit: Archant

A judicial review is to be held into the proposed felling of a historic woodland ahead of the construction of Sizewell C.

TASC (Together Against Sizewell C) wanted a review of 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.

The move would see part of the wood felled so buildings relating to Sizewell B could be moved in preparation for the construction of Sizewell C.

A first bid for a judicial review over the decision was thrown out by the High Court.

However, on Wednesday a further virtual court hearing was held over Microsoft Teams to consider a further bid for review.

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The conditions for the review centred around two grounds; split into 1a, 1b and 2.

Both 1a and 1b looked at concerns around the Sizewell B facilities moving into an area outstanding natural beauty without exceptional reason with the second ground focused on concerns over the environmental impact assessments submitted with the proposals.

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Mrs Justice Andrews dismissed both 1a and 1b accepting arguments from the defendants that there were a number of exceptional reasons for the proposals to be brought forward in this way.

However, she said was prepared to give permission for the review regarding the environmental plans, having highlighted differences in opinion over whether the ecological advice was still up to date.

TASC said it was pleased with the results of Wednesday’s hearing but said it would be looking at further action over the grounds that were dismissed during the hearing. .

TASC’s press officer, Chris Wilson said: “It is a shame that the court has not granted permission to proceed with all grounds of challenge, but I am delighted that Joan Girling, fully supported by TASC, has been granted permission to proceed with a judicial review challenging the decision on the basis of deficiencies with the Environmental Impact Assessment.

“TASC is currently considering its options with regard to the grounds of challenge that have been refused.

“We are extremely grateful to all those that have supported this action.”

Both EDF and East Suffolk Council, were represented in court and have given statements on the verdict of the judicial review hearing.

A spokesman for EDF said: “We note that there will be a judicial review hearing held in due course in relation to a planning decision for permission to relocate some of the Sizewell B existing buildings on EDF land.

“We will provide any further information required to support the hearing.”

A spokesman for East Suffolk Council said that it would stand by its original decision.

“The Claimant has today been given permission by the Administrative Court to judicially review the Council’s planning decision re. Sizewell B/Coronation Wood on 1 of their 3 grounds of challenge,” said the council spokesman.

“The Council will continue to defend its decision.”

A date for the judicial review for the application has not been confirmed at this stage.

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