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Saturday, 19 April 2014

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Former Cumbrian open cast mine cannot store radioactive waste, says Government

A decision by the county council not to grant planning consent for a radioactive waste store in west Cumbria has been backed by the Government.

Keekle photo
The ex-Keekle Head opencast coal site

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has dismissed Endecom Ltd’s appeal and refused permission.

The company wanted to use the former open cast coal mine at Keekle Head to store up to one million cubic metres of low-level radioactive waste for the next 50 years.

But Mr Pickles said the scheme would have harmed the landscape, affected tourism and increased industrial traffic from Sellafield to the site.

Endecom had challenged the county's decision taken in May 2012 and a public inquiry was held in June.

In its ruling, the Department for Communities and Local Government says the development had poor sustainability credentials and was visually intrusive.

"Furthermore, he [Mr Pickles] considers the final landscape would be artificial and incapable of satisfactorily integrating into its setting," it adds.

Clare Feeney-Johnson, the county council’s Cabinet member responsible for environment, said it had been an enormously complicated and time-consuming case.

"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

Visually intrusive - we had the same problem with a pit near my hometown of Hendon years ago, the council still haven't pursued the owners to this day. NS

Posted by The Swaniest of Swans on 16 December 2013 at 21:10

The site owners have for 15 years ignored pledges made to restore the site. If the owners hoped for planning gain and could fund this latest application surely they have some assets that can be tapped into to ensure restoration.

Posted by Dave Siddall on 14 December 2013 at 17:22

View all 6 comments on this article

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