Judgment handed down in Crest Nicholson v West Berkshire District Council

February 19, 2021

Judgment has been handed down by Mrs Justice Thornton in Crest Nicholson v West Berkshire District Council [2021] EWHC 289 (Admin).

David Travers QC and Megan Thomas acted for the successful defendant.

The case is the first to be decided under the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019 which came into force in May 2019 and were part of the international, EU and UK response to the meltdown of three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan in March 2011 following an undersea earthquake.

The claimants objected to the  ‘Detailed Emergency Planning Zone’ (DEPZ) set by the local authority based upon a minimum radial distance in the Consequences Report of 3160m from the centre of the nuclear facility. This minimum radius was very significantly greater than the 1600m radius set under the previous incarnation of the regulations, as a consequence of the more precautionary approach in the new regulations.

In addition to the Claimants and the Defendant, three of the Interested Parties,  AWE PLC, the Secretary of State for Defence, and the Office of Nuclear Regulation, took part in the hearing in which the Claimant challenged the decision of West Berkshire District Council as to the extent of the DEPZ.

The judgment of the Administrative Court is a ‘must read’ for anyone interested in the operation of the 2019 regulations and the associated Approved Code of Practice.

The full judgment can be read here