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CAMPAIGNERS have won permission to appeal against the building of Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk because the government did not ensure there was a sufficient water supply to meet its demands.
The Court of Appeal overturned a refusal by the High Court to grant a judicial review into the decision by Kwasi Kwarteng, the then-business secretary, to give the station on the Suffolk coast the go-ahead.
The case was brought by the Together Against Sizewell C (Tasc) campaign group.
Tasc’s case included an argument that because of the power station’s need for huge quantities of water for its cooling system, the development should include a desalination plant to avoid endangering local domestic water supplies.
Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Coulson said that given that Mr Kwarteng gave permission for the power station against the advice of the planning authority, and because of Tasc’s arguments about the need for a water supply, the appeal had “a real prospect of success.”
He said that a further reason to grant permission to appeal was the scale of public interest surrounding the Sizewell C project.
TASC chair Jenny Kirtley said: “TASC are delighted by the appeal court’s decision and welcome the acknowledgement that our appeal challenging the Secretary of State’s approval of Sizewell C has a ‘real prospect of success.’”
She condemned the government for pumping £1 billion into the £30 billion project knowing that it had “no clear path towards a sustainable operational plan for its water requirements.”
Stop Sizewell C chairman Paul Collins said: “This flow of funding into Sizewell C should cease until our appeal against the lawfulness of the Secretary of State’s decision is resolved.”
Sizewell C is the third nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast.
It is being built by France’s state-owned energy firm EDF.
Rachel Fulcher from Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth said: “Suffolk Coastal Friends of the Earth wholeheartedly support Tasc in pursuing this appeal.
“Meanwhile we will continue to focus on saving what we can of East Suffolk’s precious wildlife, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and our beautiful Heritage Coast which are already being devastated by EDF’s so-called ‘preliminary works’.”
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