Planning changes hit waste protest

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A scheme to expand a nuclear waste site in the county is to be examined by the new Planning Inspectorate.

Augean has applied to extend the lifespan of its site at King’s Cliffe to 2026, and increase its capacity. The inspectorate has accepted the application for examination because of the national significance of the proposals.

Louise Bowen-West, a member of Waste Watchers, which has fought plans to dump low level radioactive waste at the King’s Cliffe site, said: “The new system will make things very challenging for us but we intend to continue our fight.

“It’s going to be a very difficult process, as under the new regulations everyone who wants to give their views will have to register online.

“We are a rural community and not everyone has access to a computer. We will be organising a mass registration day and will be continuing to raise funds to pay for professional advice.”

Augean wants to increase its soil treatment capacity at the site from 100,000 tonnes a year to 150,000 and to construct a new landfill area to deal with 150,000 tonnes of low level radioactive waste a year, up to a maximum total of 250,000 tonnes a year.

It says the King’s Cliffe site is one of only two in the UK with the same soil treatment capacity and one of eight in England and Wales which can deal with the same range of hazardous waste.

In its application the company states: “The decommissioning and clean up of the UK’s nuclear power stations and associated facilities will create significant amounts of waste such as demolition rubble with low levels of radioactivity.”