CAMPAIGNERS fighting a decision to dump low-level radioactive waste in King’s Cliffe have lost their latest battle at the Court of Appeal.
Louise Bowen-West brought the case to the Court of Appeal against Augean, which won planning permission from the Secretary of State to dump the waste at its site in Stamford Road, King’s Cliffe.
Mrs Bowen-West had argued that the Secretary of State and the High Court, which upheld the decision, didn’t consider the long-term plans of Augean when making the decision.
The company currently has permission to use the site until 2013 but has consulted on plans to keep using it until 2026.
Lord Justice Laws dismissed the appeal on Wednesday in an oral judgement after a day-and-a- half of legal argument.
He accepted that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and his planning inspector both accepted the decision to grant the two-year permission would have a precedent effect when Augean puts forward its proposals to extend the site’s operation.
But he said it was a matter of “judgment” for them to decide whether this should be considered in an environmental assessment of the existing application.
Ruling that the Secretary of State had made the “correct decision”, he said the impact of Augean’s wider proposals will be subject to an environmental assessment when it applies for planning permission.
He said the decision on any future application would not be prejudiced by this decision.
The judge, sitting with Lord Justice Tomlinson and Lord Justice Kitchin, ordered Mrs Bowen-West to pay £5,000 towards the Secretary of State’s legal costs, and refused her permission to take the case to the Supreme Court.
Afterwards Mrs Bowen-West, who brought the case on behalf of villagers, said she was disappointed with the decision.
She said: “We were obviously hoping for a different outcome but we are not surprised.
“It is not the end of the road. There are further options for us but we need to discuss with our legal team what they are.”
Mrs Bowen-West was in the Court of Appeal in London with three other campaigners to hear the decision.
Augean said in a statement: “Augean are pleased that the presiding Lords Justice unanimously have found no merit in the claimant’s legal arguments and have dismissed the appeal.
“The appeal did not relate to the safety or the policy merits of the scheme but only to a narrow point of law.
“The Appeal Court rejected applications to appeal further to the Supreme Court. Furthermore, the Lords Justice deemed that there was “no legal issue on which the court needed to seek assistance of the European Court of Justice and also rejected further reference to the European Court.”
Augean has already started dumping radioactive waste at the site.