Campaigners initiate judicial review process against decision to approve nuclear new build

The decision to green light construction of Sizewell C could be set for a judicial review after campaigners against the proposed nuclear power station initiated legal action.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng approved the £20bn scheme last month after a series of delays, despite the Planning Inspectorate’s warnings about its environmental impact.

Sizewell C

Plans for the two-reactor Sizewell C nuclear plant on the Suffolk Coast

Kwarteng said the “the very substantial and urgent need” for the EDF-led development outweighed the potential harms to the local water supply outlined by the inspectorate.

Campaign group Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) has now sent a pre-action protocol letter, signalling the start of judicial review process challenging the decision, which it contends is “unlawful”.

The Planning Inspectorate’s report to the business secretary stated that “unless the outstanding water supply strategy can be resolved”, the case for granting consent was “not made out”.

The UK government has already committed £100m toward the two-reactor plant and intends to take a 20% stake in the development, which will generate 7% of the UK’s energy needs when complete.

The power station is near identical to the one currently being built by Laing O’Rourke, Bouygues and Balfour Beatty at Hinkley Point in Somerset, which will also be operated by EDF.