No transboundary consultation required for low risk nuclear project

No transboundary consultation required for low risk nuclear project

hinkleypoint

The Court of Appeal has decided that a transboundary consultation not required for environmental impact assessment (EIA) purposes in relation to a nuclear power station. It considered that a very low probability of an environmental risk could not be said to be ‘likely to have significant effects on the environment’, so did not trigger consultation requirements under the EIA Directive.

Background

An Taisce (The National Trust for Ireland)) v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change [2014] EWCA Civ 1111

The National Trust for Ireland (NTI), challenged a decision by the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to grant a development consent order for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C (HPC).

It was common ground that the construction of HPC was a project falling within Annex I to the EIA Directive2011/92/EU. An EIA was required and was carried out, and public consultation was undertaken within the UK, in accordance with arts 4–6 of the EIA Directive.

NTI claimed the Secretary of State had failed to comply with the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2009, SI 2009/2263, reg 24 (the EIA Regulations), and/or art 7 of the EIA Directive.

Article 7 provides that where a project is likely to have significant effects on the environment in another member state, the developer member state must:

  • send information

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About the author:

Jen is a solicitor specialising in planning law. She has experience in relation to a range of planning topics, including environmental impact assessment, section 106 agreements, highways orders, compulsory purchase, freedom of information issues, inquiries, judicial review, the Localism Act 2011, the National Planning Policy Framework and major infrastructure projects. After qualifying at Ashurst, Jen worked at Bevan Brittan and subsequently at CMS Cameron McKenna as an associate in the planning team. She worked as an external author for LexisPSL before joining the team in November 2010. She has written for a variety of legal publications, including the New Law Journal, Utilities Week, Planning Resource and The Lawyer. Jen regularly appears on Talking Law videocasts providing legal updates on planning law.