Page last updated at 21:21 GMT, Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Appeal over radioactive dump plan for Northamptonshire

A company refused permission to dump rubble from decommissioned nuclear power stations at a landfill site in Northamptonshire is to appeal.

Augean Plc applied to dump low-level radiation at a hazardous waste landfill site in King's Cliffe but the plan was turned down by the county council.

Augean, which operates the East Northants Resource Management Facility landfill, said it would now appeal.

The council expressed concerns over the transportation of the waste.

Augean said it has begun the appeal process against the Development Control Committee's decision.

Technical director Dr Gene Wilson said he was "disappointed" by the council's decision.

He added: "However, we believe that the refusal was not based on sound scientific or policy grounds and will now take these important proposals forward through the appeal process."

Risk 'negligible'

The site is already used to store hazardous waste, but if the plans were approved, it would have become the first commercial landfill in the country to dispose of waste with this level of radioactivity.

It could have seen as much as 250,000 tonnes of low-level radioactive waste dumped there each year until 2013.

King's Cliffe Parish Council had argued the site was too small and said there were concerns that there were schools within two miles of the site.

Augean Plc has said the risk to the public was negligible. The report that went to the planning committee said key health protection agencies had not objected to the plan.

On Tuesday, the county council's development control committee unanimously voted against the application, despite it being recommended for approval by the chief planning officer.

Committee chairman Ben Smith said bringing waste from nuclear sites across the country to store them at Kings Cliffe was not the "best available technique".

The Environment Agency said it had not objected to the application because scientific evidence showed disposal at the site would not pose a risk to human health or the environment.

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