High Court downs Govt nuclear programme

Environmental boutique Harrison Grant blew the Government’s nuclear power plan to pieces today (15 February) as the High Court ruled the Department for Trade and Industry’s consultation process into alternative energy resources was “seriously flawed”.

Harrison Grant, acting on behalf of Greenpeace, challenged the Government’s decision to support new nuclear power stations as part of the UK’s future energy-generating mix.

The submissions centred on the promise by the DTi in the 2003 that a full public consultation would be carried out on the issue before declaring any policy position on building more nuclear power plants.

The High Court ruled that Greenpeace had a legitimate expectation that had been frustrated, resulting in the ruling that the DTi’s support of nuclear newbuilds is unlawful.

Mr Justice Sullivan held that the consultation exercise had been very seriously flawed, offering no real proposals with insufficient information to enable an intelligent response.

With regard to the issue of nuclear waste arising from new build, Sullivan J found that the consultation had not merely been inadequate but misleading.

Kate Harrison of Harrison Grant instructed Nigel Pleming QC of 39 Essex Street with Kassie Smith of Monckton Chambers to represent Greenpeace.

While Richard Drabble QC of Landmark Chambers was instructed by Treasury Solicitors for the Secretary of State.