Press Release: October 18 2011

LAAG welcomes the Chief Nuclear Inspector’s recommendation to review planning controls for proposed developments close to nuclear power stations 

In the wake of Fukushima, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, asked the UK Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr Mike Weightman, to provide a report to the Government on the implications of this incident and the lessons to be learned for the UK nuclear industry. The final report was published on October 11th.  

Dr Weightman’s report raises serious questions about the effectiveness of existing planning processes in place for controlling developments close to nuclear power stations. We quote from his report:   

In light of the events at Fukushima, we consider that it is timely for the relevant Government departments in the UK to examine the existing system of planning controls for developments in the vicinity of nuclear sites and consider the need for improvements.  

Recommendation FR-5: The relevant Government departments in England, Wales and Scotland should examine the adequacy of the existing system of planning controls for commercial and residential developments off the nuclear licensed site.  

LAAG strongly believes that the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon. Eric Pickles, MP must act on Dr Weightman’s recommendation when he reviews the findings to be published from the public inquiry into the large scale development of Lydd Airport in Kent, located less than three miles from the Dungeness nuclear power complex.  

LAAG also believes that both the new Aviation White Paper (first consultation closes October 20th) and the National Planning policy framework (consultation closed yesterday) should contain clear policy statements which limit population increases in the vicinity of nuclear power stations and prevent inappropriate development such as airport expansion. 

Louise Barton
Lydd Airport Action Group
The Hook Madeira Road
Littlestone, TN28 8QX
01797 361 548 

Notes to editors: