High Court grants permission to challenge Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station preliminary works

04 Jun 2020

Planning and Environment

After a half-day hearing, Andrews J granted a local resident permission to challenge the decision of East Suffolk Council to grant planning permission for 30ha of development on an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The works amount to the relocation of essential facilities for the operation of the present Sizewell B nuclear power station and the provision of a new visitor centre.

The works are necessary to enable the development of a new nuclear power station, known as Sizewell C, because this is proposed on land presently occupied by the essential facilities for the operation of Sizewell B.

Subsequent to the decision to grant planning permission, EDF Energy submitted an application for a DCO for Sizewell C on 27 May 2020.

Sizewell C is presently listed as one of eight “potentially suitable” sites for a new nuclear power station in National Policy Statement for Nuclear Power Generation (EN-6). However, in late 2017 and early 2018, the Government consulted on a new NPS for Nuclear Power which may result in different potentially suitable sites being included.

Granting permission to bring the claim, Andrews J┬ádesignated the challenge a “Significant Planning Court claim” meaning there is a target for determination of ten weeks from the date detailed grounds of resistance are due.

Dr Ashley Bowes acts for the claimant (together with David Wolfe QC) instructed by Rowan Smith at Leigh Day.