Aquind wins judicial review to build interconnector meaning decision will be looked at again by the government
and live on Freeview channel 276
For the last seven years the company has been planning to land cables at Eastney which would connect English and French electric power generation.
It wanted to build an interconnector at Lovedean, north of Denmead – but the disruption that the cable laying process would cause, not to mention the fears over the policy that would see some British electricity supply held by the French – caused widespread protests in Portsmouth.
NOW READ: Why teachers will be striking next month
Last January the bid was turned down by then Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. But Aquind then succeeded in winning a judicial review of the process. This meant a judge would examine whether the decision was made correctly, rather than overturning it.
Now, Aquind has revealed that the High Court has announced that it has quashed Mr Kwarteng’s decision. It means that Aquind’s plan will be looked at again by the government.
The Planning Inspectorate had recommended that the plan – designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) – be passed. But a coalition of opposition in Portsmouth – including the Lib Dem council, Portsmouth South Labour MP Stephen Morgan, Portsmouth North Conservative MP Penny Mordaunt, community group Stop Aquind and The News – fought fiercely against the plan.
Aquind’s high court claim was successful on the following grounds:
Failure to take into account relevant evidence relating to alternatives; Failure to discharge the duty set out in Section 104 of the Planning Act 2008 in respect of how decisions must be taken; Failure to apply National Policy Statement EN-1 policies relating to the assessment of alternatives; and Breach of the Tameside duty to take reasonable steps to inform so as to be able to discharge the relevant statutory duties.
Aquind director Richard Glasspool said: ‘This is wonderful news for the Aquind Interconnector project. We were dismayed and disappointed when Kwasi Kwarteng refused the Development Consent Order. We look forward to re-engaging with local residents, stakeholders, environmental experts, and energy professionals in order to pursue the commitment to meeting the UKs Net Zero energy target.’
Aquind’s interconnector would be the largest interconnector in Britain by capacity, and the company claims it would supply up to five per cent of Great Britain’s electricity.