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Campaigners get green light for legal challenge over felling of wood near planned nuclear power station

A group that campaigns against the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station has won permission to take East Suffolk Council to judicial review in a dispute over felling a wood.

Joan Girling, a supporter of Together Against Sizewell C, brought the application advised by law firm Leigh Day.

This was to judicially review East Suffolk’s decision last September to grant planning permission to French energy company EdF to cut down the 100 year-old Coronation Wood to create space for the development. 

Permission was initially refused by the High Court, but Ms Girling applied for a hearing to reconsider that.

Mrs Justice Andrews granted permission for the challenge on the basis it was arguable that there were deficiencies in the environmental impact assessment relied on by the council.

Permission was though still refused on another ground, that the proposed development did not give rise to exceptional circumstances required to justify a major development in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Ms Girling said: “If the Planning Inspectorate accepts EdF’s recently submitted Sizewell C application, the case may or may not be made, therefore until that time Coronation Wood should not be felled.

“If EdF fell the entire historic wood prematurely both the trees and its valuable wildlife will be lost needlessly and will cause yet more industrialisation of the Sizewell landscape and AONB.”

Erin Alcock and Rowan Smith from Leigh Day, who represent Ms Girling said: “It is crucial at a time of climate catastrophe that proper lawful process is followed by local authority decision makers when valuable green space and natural habitats are at stake.”

East Suffolk did not respond to a request for comment.

Mark Smulian

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