Suffolk AONB Needs You: Save Coronation Wood!

by Together Against Sizewell C

Suffolk AONB Needs You: Save Coronation Wood!

by Together Against Sizewell C
Together Against Sizewell C
Case Owner
TASC are group of individuals fighting EDF's plans to build two EPR nuclear reactors and their supporting infrastructure on the fragile Suffolk Coast devastating acres of the wildlife rich AONB
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Together Against Sizewell C
Case Owner
TASC are group of individuals fighting EDF's plans to build two EPR nuclear reactors and their supporting infrastructure on the fragile Suffolk Coast devastating acres of the wildlife rich AONB
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This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Sept. 20, 2020

Judicial Review 8th September 2020

The judicial review took place in the High Court on 8th September. After a six-hour hearing, the judge reserved judgement which means that we will have to wait for a while longer to learn of his deci…

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Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) is an unincorporated citizens’ group formed to oppose the building of Sizewell C's twin nuclear reactors and associated works in Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in a legal open, peaceful and fully accountable manner.

TASC has mounted a legal challenge against East Suffolk Council's decision to approve the planning application submitted by EDF, the nuclear developer, to: -

  • chop down 100-year-old Coronation Wood,
  • turn a large area of priority habitat acidic grassland, known as Pillbox Field, into a 576 space car park,
  • relocate over 320,000 sq. feet of 7 largely non-essential and non-operational Sizewell B buildings and an additional 128 car parking spaces, that will encroach further into the AONB.
  •  Most of these buildings/facilities could be located outside the AONB. The works are needed to free up land for the construction of Sizewell C as the existing site is too small and are clearly integral to the wider Sizewell C development.

What are we trying to achieve?

We want to overturn the decision to grant planning permission in order to stop a large area of the designated AONB landscape from industrialisation. Hopefully this will also perhaps halt completely the building of further nuclear plants on our unstable coast. There are increasing concerns about siting new nuclear power stations on an already eroding Suffolk coast in flood zones 2 and 3 and the ever-worsening predictions of the impacts from rising sea levels, increased storm surges and more extreme weather events. Combined with the ever-growing costs of nuclear power and the intractable problem of radioactive waste to be stored on site for at least 150 years, it seems doubtful Sizewell C will ever get built.

To fell a 100-year-old wood and create so much damage to the natural environment for something that may never happen would be inexcusable in this time of Climate Emergency.

The local community is appalled by the Council's decision to approve EDF's planning application, which we argue was unlawful. We feel this decision demonstrates a total disregard for the impact of this development on the animals, birds, bats and plants that call this area home. The Council has totally ignored the legal obligations they have for the designated AONB landscape. 

As East Suffolk Council have declared a climate emergency it seems perverse that it has chosen to ignore over 125 letters of objection including those from the AONB, Natural England, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, RSPB, local Town and Parish Councils, local groups such as Suffolk Preservation Society, Suffolk Coastal FOE and Theberton & Eastbridge Action Group (TEAGS) to name but a few. Many have pointed out the inadequacy of the Environmental Impact Assessment and absence of ecological surveys in this sensitive area bordered by a Site of Special Scientific Interest as well as the impact of light and noise pollution from the loss of Coronation Wood, which currently acts as a visual landscape barrier to the light and noise emanating from the existing nuclear complex. 

As no planning application has yet been submitted for Sizewell C, the approval of the relocation of Sizewell B facilities is premature. Instead, the works should be considered as part of the Sizewell C planning application and form part of the Development Consent Order to be deliberated next year by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and then the Secretary of State.

We need £5,000 to meet our initial legal costs to fund TASC's launch of judicial review proceedings against East Suffolk Council so the planning permission that has been granted, is rescinded.

We need your support: please contribute and share this page now!


What is the next step in the case?

Our lawyers wrote to East Suffolk Council in late November requesting that this planning permission is withdrawn due to the reasons mentioned above. Following an unsatisfactory response, on 23rd December 2019 we instructed our lawyers to issue judicial review proceedings before the High Court challenging the planning decision.


How much we are raising and why?

Our full stretch target is £22,000 so please give whatever you can. Even a small amount will make a big difference.

TASC would like to thank our legal team at Leigh Day, David Wolfe QC of Matrix Chambers, and Ashley Bowes of Cornerstone Barristers for all their advice and support in getting us to this point.

We would also like to thank, in advance, all who donate to keep the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty safe from further degradation and help maintain the rich mosaic of wildlife habitats that have taken millennia to evolve.

All donations received by TASC will be used to fight the destruction of Coronation Wood and the proposed building of Sizewell C.

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Update 4

Together Against Sizewell C

Sept. 20, 2020

Judicial Review 8th September 2020

The judicial review took place in the High Court on 8th September. After a six-hour hearing, the judge reserved judgement which means that we will have to wait for a while longer to learn of his decision. TASC will advise the outcome as soon as we know.

TASC remain extremely grateful to our barristers David Woolf and Ashley Bowes and lawyers Leigh Day.

Update 3

Together Against Sizewell C

Aug. 21, 2020

TASC's Judicial Review has a Court date

The legal case of Girling vs East Suffolk Council will be heard in the High Court on 8th September 2020. The legal challenge, brought by TASC supporter Joan Girling, is a judicial review of the September 2019 decision by East Suffolk Council granting planning permission to the giant French energy company, EdF. The approved plan includes cutting down the 100-year-old Coronation Wood to create space for the Sizewell C nuclear development. 

 Permission has been granted for judicial review on two grounds of challenge. Firstly, that it is arguable there were deficiencies within the Environmental Impact Assessment relied upon by the Council in making their planning decision and, secondly, on the basis of evidence  required to show exceptional circumstances justifying the infliction of a major development on the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). TASC and Joan argue that there is a lack of such evidence in support of this development.

Joan Girling said ‘The Planning Inspectorate is in the pre-examination phase of reviewing EdF’s Sizewell C planning application, with the Secretary of State not expected to make a final decision until late 2021, 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.’

TASC is indebted to Joan for bringing this case as we believe East Suffolk council need to be brought to book for their woeful disregard to the lawful process required when approving EdF’s premature plans to expand their nuclear complex further into the AONB destroying Coronation Wood and Pillbox Field in the process. During the consultation process, TASC and many other respondents commented that the Sizewell B facilities EdF wish to relocate could be built in other places which do not involve further degradation of unspoilt AONB, claims that have never been accepted by EdF. TASC is therefore astounded to find that EdF are now seeking the public’s opinions on revised plans that would see some of the facilities built on the old Sizewell A brownfield site, although these revised plans still include the felling of Coronation Wood. TASC urges all those concerned about these revised plans to respond to EdF by the 24th August deadline. Details can be accessed at:  https://rlfsizewellb.co.uk/

                                                                                    

‘TASC will inform you of further details of the court arrangements when available, via our website https://tasizewellc.org.uk/ However, details of access to the court hearing are only expected a day or two before

Update 2

Together Against Sizewell C

July 21, 2020

COURT OF APPEAL DECISION MADE

TASC is very pleased to advise that the Court of Appeal have granted permission to challenge the approach taken to AONB policy in these preliminary works for Sizewell C nuclear power station. The Court has accepted our application to overturn the High Court's decision to refuse 'ground1b' in our Judicial Review case against East Suffolk Council's approval of EDF's plans to fell Coronation Wood and carry out other preparatory works for Sizewell C.

We are now waiting for the High Court to advise the date of the Judicial Review hearing which because of this recent judgement will  proceed with two lines of argument.

TASC would like to thank all who have supported our case to date including those who have donated, and are yet to donate, in order to keep the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty safe from the degradation that will result from the Sizewell B facilities relocation and the building of Sizewell C, and help maintain the rich mosaic of wildlife habitats that have taken millennia to evolve.

PLEASE SHARE THIS APPEAL ON YOUR WEBSITE, EMAILS, FACEBOOK PAGE, TWITTER ACCOUNT AND ANY OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA. LET EVERYONE KNOW WE ARE ALL FIGHTING TO PROTECT AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LOCAL HERITAGE AND ITS FATE IS IN ALL OUR HANDS




Update 1

Together Against Sizewell C

June 18, 2020

PROGRESS OF OUR CASE TO SAVE CORONATION WOOD

The story so far

 In December 2019, TASC supporter Joan Girling, fully backed by TASC, applied to the High Court for a judicial review of East Suffolk’s council’s decision. The application was initially rejected by the court in March 2020, the response to which was an application for renewal of (appeal against) the decision, which led to a virtual High Court hearing on 3rd June 2020. At this hearing, the judge refused our application on two of the grounds that TASC’s legal team argued but accepted that the third ground merited being argued at a full judicial review hearing which will happen at a date to be arranged. On 3rd June the court decided that TASC’s costs cap under the Aarhus convention, in the event of losing the case, should be £10,000 rather than the £5,000 we thought should apply. After taking advice from our legal team, on 10th June TASC lodged an application to the court of appeal for one of the two grounds refused at the 3rd June hearing to be overturned.

What is the next step in the case?

We are waiting for both courts to advise when the Appeal Court review and the judicial review hearing in the High Court, will take place.

How much we are raising and why?

When our legal action started, we envisaged a costs cap of £5,000, rather than £10,000 decided by the High Court, and had not anticipated having the renewal hearing in the High Court nor the application to the Court of Appeal. The consequence is that we have increased our stretch target to £27,000. We know that’s a large amount of money, but anything you can spare, no matter how small, will be gratefully received.

We would like to thank all who have supported our case to date including those who have donated, and are yet to donate, in order to keep the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty safe from further degradation, from the Sizewell B facilities relocation and the building of Sizewell C, and help maintain the rich mosaic of wildlife habitats that have taken millennia to evolve.

PLEASE SHARE THIS APPEAL ON YOUR WEBSITE, EMAILS, FACEBOOK PAGE, TWITTER ACCOUNT AND ANY OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA. LET EVERYONE KNOW WE ARE ALL FIGHTING TO PROTECT AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LOCAL HERITAGE AND ITS FATE IS IN ALL OUR HANDS

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