Ireland’s National Trust wants to challenge permission for a new nuclear power plant to be built near Burnham-On-Sea in the European courts, a judicial review has heard.

The organisation is contesting the legality of granting consent for Hinkley Point C, which is 150 miles from the Irish coast.

It claims under EU directives, Irish people should have been consulted about the environmental risks beforehand.

At a hearing in London this week, its lawyers said the case should be referred to the European courts.

In March 2013, Energy Secretary Ed Davey gave EDF Energy planning consent to build Hinkley Point C on the Somerset coast.

But the Irish organisation, An Taisce, claims that the government failed to undertake a “transboundary consultation” with the Irish people as required by the European Commission’s Environmental Impact Assessment Directive.

The government says that such consultation was not necessary because nuclear accidents are not sufficiently likely due to the robustness of the UK regulatory regime.

At the start of a two-day judicial review hearing in London, David Wolfe QC, for An Taisce, told the appeal judges the case turned on issues of European Union law. He said the appropriate course was a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union.