Ireland’s National Trust has lost its fight to stop a new nuclear power plant being built near Burnham-On-Sea.
The group, also called An Taisce, contested the legality of a March 2013 decision by the Energy Secretary to grant development consent for Hinkley Point C, which is around 150 miles from Ireland.
Its lawyers said there was a failure to undertake ”transboundary consultation” with the Irish people beforehand, as required by the European Commission’s environmental impact assessment directive.
At a recent judicial review hearing in London before three appeal judges, counsel David Wolfe QC said the court was required to consider the meaning and application of Article 7 of the directive and, especially, the way in which the Secretary of State had dealt with the possibility of significant nuclear accidents.
The government argued that transboundary consultation was not necessary because nuclear accidents were not sufficiently likely due to the robustness of the UK regulatory regime.
Mr Wolfe told Lord Justice Longmore, Lord Justice Sullivan and Lady Justice Gloster that the case turned on issues of European Union law on which the court was not going to be able to give a definitive view and the appropriate course was a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
But on Friday (August 1st) Lady Justice Gloster, announcing the court’s decision, said: “This application for judicial review is dismissed and reference to the CJEU is not necessary.”