Sizewell C Legal Battle Continues
Undeterred activists, led by Together Against Sizewell C, pursue Supreme Court appeal in nuclear power station fight
Undeterred by a Court of Appeal setback, campaigners from Together Against Sizewell C Limited (TASC) are escalating their fight against the Sizewell C Nuclear Power Station, applying for a Supreme Court appeal. In a bid to address issues related to a permanent water supply and the public interest, TASC is challenging the Court of Appeal's ruling that deemed these concerns insufficient to halt the project.
The legal saga began with TASC's judicial review of Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng's 2022 decision to grant development consent to the 3.2 gigawatt power station, a move contrary to the advice of the planning Examining Authority. TASC, emphasizing the need for a sustainable water supply in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, sought a review after the initial dismissal in the Court of Appeal.
Represented by the environment team at law firm Leigh Day, along with barristers David Wolfe KC (Matrix), Ashley Bowes (Landmark), and Ruchi Parekh (Cornerstone), TASC has now applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. The campaigners argue that a desalination plant is essential for a two million litres per day water supply for Sizewell C. However, they contend that the environmental impact of obtaining such a supply was disregarded in the initial planning application, presenting a significant oversight by the Business Secretary.
TASC emphasizes that the water supply issue should not have been treated separately from the power plant application, which claims to generate electricity for 60 years in an ecologically sensitive area. The campaigners question the choice of potentially relying on Northumbrian Water Ltd (NWL) instead of opting for a desalination plant, highlighting potential additional infrastructure needs and the lack of assessment on impacts to protected habitats.
In a joint statement with supporters Stop Sizewell C and Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth, TASC expresses dissatisfaction with the government's approval of Sizewell C despite operational uncertainties. Leigh Day solicitor Rowan Smith underscores the fundamental argument that without a permanent water supply, Sizewell C cannot operate, and the failure to assess environmental impacts before development consent is a critical flaw.