Radioactive waste dump health fears overruled

The secretary of state has allowed an appeal against Northamptonshire County Council's refusal of planning permission for landfill disposal of low-level radioactive material at an existing hazardous waste site, agreeing that any harm from the development would be limited.

The inspector was satisfied that the risks would be minimal and that the proposal would meet the target for broad acceptability set out in the Government's 2007 policy for the long-term management of solid low-level radioactive waste. He also found limited evidence of any direct effects from the perception of harm.

He considered there to be a need for alternative ways to manage low-level radioactive waste and noted no other facility being proposed to serve southern and central England. Public money would be saved during the two years that the proposed site would be in operation and it could be brought into use with little delay, he found.

The secretary of state concluded that there was no conflict with the development plan and that the factors in favour of the proposal outweighed its limited harm. Permission was granted until the end of August 2013.

Inspector: Ken Smith; Inquiry

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