Press Release: 3rd June 2020

TASC supporter granted permission to proceed with challenge relating to Coronation Wood and Pill Box Field

TASC members were among nearly 30 people to attend, via Microsoft Teams video link, the remote renewal hearing of the application for judicial review proceedings in the case of Girling vs East Suffolk Council at the High Court today.

The original challenge, brought by TASC supporter Joan Girling, called for a judicial review of the decision by East Suffolk Council in Sept 2019 to grant planning permission to the giant French energy company, EdF, to cut down the 100 year-old Coronation Wood to create space for the Sizewell C nuclear development.  Permission to proceed with the challenge was refused by the High Court and Joan Girling applied for a hearing to reconsider that refusal.

There was much jubilation among the TASC supporters when Mrs Justice Andrews, the judge hearing the appeal, granted permission for the challenge to proceed on the basis it is arguable that there were deficiencies within the Environmental Impact Assessment relied upon by the Council in making their planning decision, an outcome which will be of great discomfort to EdF.  Without the ability to clear Coronation Wood, additional space for the ‘C’ plant cannot be created, delaying further or even forcing the abandonment of the entire project.

Permission was refused on the first ground of challenge, which argued the proposed development did not give rise to exceptional circumstances required by law to justify a major development in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Joan is taking advice from her legal team on her options going forward, including whether to appeal the refusal on this ground.

Joan Girling said

‘If the Planning Inspectorate accepts EdF’s recently submitted Sizewell C application, the case for SZC 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.’

Chris Wilson, TASC Press Officer, said,

‘TASC is delighted that Joan can now proceed to the judicial review hearing in order to bring East Suffolk council to book for their woeful disregard to the lawful process required when approving EdF’s premature plans to expand their nuclear complex further into Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB destroying Coronation Wood and Pillbox Field in the process. TASC are indebted to Joan Girling for bringing this case.’

‘TASC will keep the media informed of developments and would like to thank its legal team from Leigh Day and barristers David Wolfe QC and Ashley Bowes for all their advice and guidance through this challenge and appeal. We also extend our sincere gratitude to all the individuals who responded so generously to the crowd-funding appeal for this case. Please continue to support Joan in her challenge at the following link:

Erin Alcock and Rowan Smith from Leigh Day, who represent Joan Girling said:

‘we are thrilled that Joan has been granted permission to proceed with her judicial review challenge. 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. We look forward to working with Joan to progress her case further.’

For further information, contact:

Chris Wilson – Press Officer, 07976 820524
Pete Wilkinson – Chairperson, 01728 660232/08940 524831
Jenny Kirtley – Deputy Chairperson, 01728 668546/07986 317478
Joan Girling – 01728 830965

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