Group accused of being alarmist

A LAWYER has accused Lydd Airport Action Group of being ‘alarmist’ in its bid to get the airport decision reversed.

During a High Court appeal the group raised concerns over the airport’s proximity to the Dungeness nuclear power station.

But Peter Village QC, representing the airport, said these were alarmist and unjustified.

He said: “Arguing that the grounds of challenge put forward were misconceived and without merit, he said: “The very short and overriding point is that the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), the independent specialist Government body responsible for nuclear safety, was completely satisfied that any risks associated with the proposed development were acceptable.

“The ONR subsequently very patiently considered the repeated and persistent attempts by LAAG to get it to change its mind, but the ONR remained satisfied as to the safety of the operation. None of that is surprising in the circumstances.

“LAA’s own specialist consultants reached the same view based on their own independent assessment of risk.

“ The operator of the power station itself, EDF, produced nothing to contradict the position of the ONR or LAA. The local authority was similarly satisfied.

“This challenge is a poorly disguised attack on that judgment, or the weight that the Secretaries of State have legitimately placed on the ONR’s view, which is impermissible and should be dismissed.”

Mr Justice Duncan Ouseley has reserved judgment in the case after four days of legal argument. A decision will be made later this year.