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25 May 2011, 14:20
Radioactive waste is going to be dumped in a village west of Peterborough.
The Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, made the decision this morning despite opposition from local campaigners.
Proposals by Augean, a waste management company, to store low level radioactive waste in landfill in Kings Cliffe were rejected by Northamptonshire County Council last year.
However, the company appealed and the plans have now been approved after Mr Pickles deemed the proposals will not be harmful to the community.
However, the plans have been the subject of lots of criticism from local residents during the last few years.
A protest group, called "Kings Cliffe Waste Watchers", was set up to fight the issue, and during a local referendum of 13 nearby villages 98% of people who voted were against the plans.
A Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) spokesman said: "This is an existing landfill site which handles hazardous waste.
Having considered all the evidence and representations, the Minister has accepted the expert planning advice that granting a temporary planning permission for additional waste would not be harmful to the local community.
The decision took account of the detailed findings of the planning inspector, who held a public local inquiry open and transparent to the public."
Augean has always said any risk to public health as a result of the low-level radioactive waste being dumped is "negligible".
Dr Gene Wilson, Group Technical Director at Augean, said: "Naturally, we are very pleased that our planning application has withstood the close examination of the Inquiry and that the Secretary of State has upheld our proposals.
His approval joins that of the Environment Agency in allowing this important scheme to go ahead.
We are committed to maintaining the high operational standards we set in order to ensure the ongoing support of the Environment Agency by complying with the terms of our permit.
The company will examine the Inspector’s report in detail over the next few days and decide how best to respond to his advice."