West Burton power station: EDF to sue protesters

West Burton power station Protesters camped on ledges outside the power station's 300ft (90m) chimneys

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Climate change protesters who staged a seven day sit-in at a Nottinghamshire power station claim they are being sued for about £5m by the facility's owners.

The 21 campaigners from No Dash for Gas admitted aggravated trespass at the West Burton plant at Mansfield Magistrates' Court, on Wednesday.

EDF Energy confirmed the action and said damages and costs were "in the region" of the figure that is claimed.

The group said some of the campaigners face losing their homes as a result.

A statement on the No Dash for Gas website reads: "EDF has launched a civil claim for damages against the group and associated activists for costs the company claims to have incurred, a figure it puts at £5m.

"Should the claim succeed, several of the campaigners face losing their homes, and all could face bankruptcy or be forced to pay a percentage of their salaries to EDF for decades to come."

'Financial losses'

An EDF spokesperson said the company was suing the group due to the "damage, cost and disruption".

The 12 women and nine men, from across the country, staged the sit-in last year.

EDF, which owns the site, said it supported the right to lawful protest but the action had put lives at risk, caused considerable disruption and financial losses.

Arrests were made between 29 October and 5 November, when the week-long protest came to an end.

The group will be sentenced over two days on 20 March and 2 April at Nottingham Magistrates Court, police said.

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