Talk:Poland Street

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LENGTH: 372 words

A foreign company which builds nuclear reactors was yesterday believed likely to be the client of a consultancy firm which used a private detective agency to discover information about objectors appearing at the Sizewell power station inquiry.

The agency was hired to discover the names, addresses and political leanings of objectors. and that presented no problem. All the information was freely available, from the secretariat of the inquiry into the proposed pounds 1.2 billion power station, or from reading newspapers.

The Observer newspaper yesterday said that a firm of security consultants run by a former military intelligence officer declined to name who had commissioned the operation, which was also set to discover protesters' links with the media. But the Guardian understands that the foreign company was interested in assessing the quality and strength of objection to Britain's first pressurised water reactor, in order to plan its own future building strategy.

The detective quickly gathered the names and addresses of involved pressure groups, including the Town and Country Planning Association, the East Anglian Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and CND.

The report noted that Friends of the Earth shared offices in London 'with a number of organisations of the extreme left.' Friends of the Earth had at the time been listed in the telephone - book as being at 9, Poland Street, London W1, an address occupied by a number of ginger groups and owned by the Rowntree Trust, formed by the chocolate making Quaker family.

All names and addresses of groups and individuals taking part in Britain's longest-ever public inquiry have to be for mally lodged with the secretariat. These details are free available at the secretariat' office at Snape Maltings.

The Central Electricity Generating Board, which plans to build the Sizewell power station, said: 'All parties in the inquiry have shown their hands. We are not the clients and we would in no sense be involved in that sort of practice, and indeed we could not see what use the information would be. It's the evidence that matters, and has done all the way through, no matter what the antecedents of individuals might be.'

  1. GARETH PARRY 'Trail of clues for the Sizewell sleuth / Anti-nuclear protesters at Sizewell inquiry investigated by consultancy firm' The Guardian (London) January 28, 1985