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EDF Energy fails to win blanket ban on protests at Hinkley C site

Anti-nuclear groups have successful fought off a bit by EDF Energy to impose a blanket ban on demonstrations occurring on land earmarked for a new nuclear power plant in Somerset.

At the High Court yesterday, EDF Energy failed in their bid to impose an injunction to stop an alliance of anti-nuclear groups from protesting on the 400-acre site set aside for two new mega-reactors at Hinkley Point.

CND was one of the groups in EDF’s sights. The organization’s chair, Kate Hudson, said after the case: “This is a victory for freedom of speech and protest. As governments around the world turn against nuclear power it would be scandalous if concerned British citizens were prevented from campaigning to change government policy by a commercial enterprise that seeks to make money from this dirty, dangerous and totally unnecessary energy form. Today our rights have been upheld.”

Nikki Clarke from South West Against Nuclear said the ruling was a moral victory for the burgeoning anti-nuclear movement. “The is yet another example of EDF Energy’s heavy-handed tactics. They tried to use a hammer to crack a nut and the courts agreed with us. In the case, David has won against Goliath.”

Another defendant, Shana Deal said EDF Energy’s mask was beginning to slip. “This is the true face of EDF. Two of the executives were recently jailed in France for spying on Greenpeace and we have seen repeated examples of corner-cutting and abuse of process at Hinkley Point.

Another defendant, Theo Simon from popular folk group, Seize the Day, said he will continue in his campaign for a judicial review. He says it is not acceptable that EDF Energy is already clearing land when they have not obtained planning permission to construction the new power station.

He said, “What they are doing is wanton vandalism. They are acting as if they have already been given tacit consent by the government. If this is the case, then it’s an abuse of process and a waste of thousands of pounds of the taxpayers’ money that is being used in the so-called consultation process.”

In a further ruling Mr Justice Floyd granted a possession order for EDF Energy to reclaim a farmhouse currently being squatted on the proposed site for Hinkley C. He also granted an injunction against Clarke, Deal and Simon from entering any area of the 400-acre site in future.

The court case was only concerned with the farmland earmarked for Hinkley C. The protest planned for March 10/11 will focus on surrounding the perimeter fence of the existing Hinkley A and B reactors and a blockade of the main gates which is a public highway. Neither of these areas fell under EDF’s application for an injunction.

For more information contact Nancy Birch on: 07980-509986

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