Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Ash will not be dumped into lakes

Radley lakes, courtesy of Jo Cartmell
Campaigners tried to get Radley Lakes village green status

A long-running dispute over whether to use an Oxfordshire lake as a dump for a power station's waste ash has ended after another firm found a use for it.

Npower who runs Didcot power station, will now supply the Waste Recycling Group (WRG) with up to 900,000 tonnes of ash for use in landfill-capping.

Outlying planning permission to use Thrupp Lake as a dump was granted in 1982 but campaigners fought against it.

Paul Green from WRG described the new resolution as "a win-win situation".

WRG has now agreed to take up to 900,000 tonnes of ash - most of the power station's waste over its lifetime.

Npower was given planning permission in January 2007 to pump ash into the lakes but the operation was halted and a public inquiry was held in April and June last year.

The company said it needed to use Thrupp Lake for its waste in order to meet the demand for electricity, and would return the site for nature conservation when the lake was full.

Gravel pits

Protest group Save Radley Lakes also tried to gain village green status for Radley Lakes to prevent the application from going ahead, but it was rejected earlier this year.

But the new deal will provide WRG's Sutton Courtenay site with ash for engineering purposes, and remove the need for disposal at the Radley gravel pits, creating new opportunities for nature conservation, the company said.

John Rainford, Didcot A station manager said: "We're very pleased that we have found such a significant alternative to ash disposal at Radley which protects our ability to generate power whenever it is needed.

"Our vision for the Thrupp Lake area involves a strong partnership with the Radley community.

"We are keen to agree a scheme that takes into account the wishes of local people as well as the needs of the area's ecology.

The company said it was prepared to consider conversion of its Sandles lakeside house into an educational and environment centre.

Jenny Standen, chairwoman of Radley Parish Council, said: "I am sure that the parish, and those people who have been working so hard to try and save Thrupp Lake, will be delighted at the news."

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