Court told nuclear decision is flawed

Kings Cliffe villagers march in protest at radio active waste being dumped at a nearby landfill site
Kings Cliffe villagers march in protest at radio active waste being dumped at a nearby landfill site
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A barrister acting for a campaigner who is battling to stop low-level radioactive waste being dumped near her village says the decision is flawed.

Communities aecretary Eric Pickles granted planning permission for disposal of the waste at a landfill site at King’s Cliffe, near Corby, and its operator Augean started taking deliveries in December.

Village resident Louise Bowen-West, of Wastewatchers, recently failed to block the proposals in the High Court but yesterday she asked appeal judges to rule the High Court had got the law wrong and the decision in May to give the go-ahead to Augean should be reconsidered.

Richard Drabble, appearing for Ms Bowen-West, told the judges the permission was a “foot in the door” for much larger quantities of hazardous and low-level radioactive waste to be deposited in the area.

The current permission runs until August 31, 2013, but there are proposals to expand operations to adjoining land until 2026.

Mr Drabble argued that before giving his consent Mr Pickles should have ordered an environmental impact assessment to take account, not only of the effect on the area of the original planning application, but its wider implications.

He argued Mr Pickles’ decision to treat the initial planning application before him on a “stand alone” basis was legally flawed, and the High Court should have so ruled.

He told Lord Justice Laws, sitting with Lord Justice Tomlinson and Lord Justice Kitchin: “There is an obligation to assess the wider effects at the earliest opportunity.”

People in the village held a protest march two weeks ago. The hearing continues.