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Thursday, 31 July 2014

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Cumbrian landfill site can stay open for further 15 years

Controversial plans to extend the life of a landfill site which is licensed to accept radioactive waste have been given the green light.

Alison Denwood photo
Alison Denwood

Hundreds of people objected to a planning application to allow the site at Lillyhall, near Workington, to operate for a further 15 years.

But at the development and regulation committee, county councillors approved the scheme for the site which has a permit to receive “high volume very low level waste.”

It means that the Joseph Noble Road site, which has been in use since 1976, will be able to continue to use the landfill until 2029.

At the meeting, letters from 150 “concerned” people were handed in to the committee, as well as a petition with 130 signatures. Six letters of objection had been lodged before the meeting.

Alison Denwood, from Harrington, spent a day on the streets of Workington collecting the signatures on the petition.

The 47-year-old said: “We live only a mile from this site and a new estate is being built just up the road from us. We don’t want people to be put off living here”

Ms Denwood spoke out at Wednesday’s meeting, along with six others.

Marianne Birkby, from Radiation Free Lakeland, also spoke at the meeting.

She said that by allowing this increase in the lifespan of the landfill would lead to permissions by the Environment Agency to accept low level waste, intermediate waste and “ultimately” a radioactive waste incinerator.

She said: “The option to refuse the extension to the permit was not even discussed (by councillors.)”

The centre has a permit to receive “high volume very low level waste”, but operator FCC Environment intends to apply for it to be allowed to receive “low-level waste”.

FCC said the introduction of the Landfill Tax and higher recycling rates mean the landfill has not filled up as quickly as expected.

The company calculates there is 1.4 million cubic metres of unused capacity.

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