Hinkley challenge launched
- Credit: Archant
A LEGAL challenge launched this week against the proposed Hinkley Point nuclear development has a ‘pretty high’ chance of success, a prominent energy lawyer has warned.
The Austrian government has launched a legal fight against the European Union’s decision to approve a potential £17.6billion subsidy for the project, which would be funded largely by UK taxpayers.
Dr Dörte Fouquet, an energy and competition lawyer with Brussels-based firm Becker Büttner Held, told the Guardian the chances of their success were ‘pretty high’, and stressed that any court case would take at least three years to complete.
North Somerset and Sedgemoor stand to reap significant economic benefits should the build go ahead – with the former recently appointing a business liaison officer to help provide what North Somerset Council deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees described as ‘long-term employment, training and business opportunities’ for the district.
However, Roy Pumfrey, from campaign group Stop Hinkley, said: “The demise of the development would be a blessing, freeing local communities from ties to a project which promises not only immense disruption in the short term, but also the long-term headache of storing highly radioactive nuclear waste for many years.”
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An application to install a 35-mile power line through Sedgemoor and North Somerset – connecting Hinkley Point to an Avonmouth substation – has also been put back, National Grid confirmed this week.
A spokesman said: “National Grid has revised the dates for the connection project and given the company a new connection date of June 2022.
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“EDF has confirmed to us that the new date reflects the revised timings for delivery of its proposed nuclear power station.
“This is a major, long-term project which has been in the planning for several years. It is not unusual for timescales to change on engineering projects of this size.”