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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Appeal to store radioactive waste in Cumbria dismissed

Environment Secretary has dismissed an appeal to store radioactive waste in Cumbria

Planning permission to use Keekle Head to store up to a million cubic metres of low-level radioactive waste for 50 years had already been refused by Cumbria County Council.

The Environment Secretary has upheld the decision at the former open cast coal mine in West Cumbria.

Applicants Endecom Ltd launched a legal challenge to the original decision by the council’s Development Control & Regulation Committee (DC&R) in May 2012 to refuse permission and a Public Inquiry was held in June 2013.

The Environment Secretary has now confirmed that Endecom’s appeal should be dismissed and planning permission refused.

The Secretary of State agreed with the county council and the Planning Inspector who chaired the Inquiry on several key points, including:

- The proposed development would have had an unduly negative impact on the local area because of increased industrial traffic from Sellafield to the site.

- The proposed development offered little or no social or sustainable benefits and risked harming the area’s tourism industry.

- The proposed development would have unacceptably harmed the landscape character of the area.

- The proposed development would not have addressed the nuclear industry’s short-term need for increased storage capacity for low level waste.

In the ruling, the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed that the Secretary of State: "Considers the development to have poor sustainability credentials and to be visually intrusive during the lengthy operational period, causing harm to the quality of landscape contrary to development plan policy. Furthermore, he considers the final landscape would be artificial and incapable of satisfactorily integrating into its setting. He regards the recently granted permission at the East Northamptonshire Resource Management Facility to be an important material consideration, making adequate provision for the UK in the short to medium term and providing the council the opportunity to assess the suitability and deliverability of other sites in Cumbria for the longer term through the plan-making process."

Reacting to the decision, Cllr Clare Feeney-Johnson, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member responsible for environment, said: "This has been an enormously complicated and time-consuming case for the county council, but I am delighted that our original decision has been upheld. We were thorough, fair and well-informed when we made our original decision and this has now been confirmed at the highest level in Government. It sends a clear message to Endecom and other developers that not only has the county council made the correct strategic decision based on the full range of evidence, but also that it was acting in the best interests of the local community."

Have your say

No doubt this is not the end of trying to use this fantastic part of the world as a nuclear dump for the rest of the world to exploit. But hold on, there will be some jobs here and they we are socially deprived area - a real soft spot for the government to exploit. Ah yes, forgot about the jobs...we clearly have no other opportunities being on the edge of the Lake District...bring it on and I'll let my son and his grandchildren worry about all the waste and legacy of our lack of foresight - just like we have now with our asbestos contaminated east coast - we never learn, short term opportunism at the expense of long term pain. Will we please look further ahead than 2020 !

Posted by jeff b on 15 December 2013 at 23:10

Hopefully, this will now be the end of the Government trying their hardest to get this beautiful area contaminated.

Go and have it in your own back yard!!!

Posted by John on 13 December 2013 at 18:25

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