Let the villagers have say on plans

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CAMPAIGNERS protesting against plans to bury radioactive waste at a tip are a step closer to holding a referendum.

People in 11 villages have called public meetings as part of a campaign organised by protest group, Local Democracy in Action, as it fights against plans by waste company Augean to bury low level waste at its site in Stamford Road, King’s Cliffe.

A planning appeal was held in November as Augean tried to overturn Northamptonshire County Council’s decision to reject planning permission for it to dispose low level radioactive waste at the site. A decision is due in May. The company is also planning to submit applications to extend the lifespan and size of the site.

Villagers will be asked at each meetings if they wish to hold a village referendum.

Meetings will be held at: Nassington Village Hall, Wednesday, 7pm; Apethorpe Village Hall, Wednesday, 7.30pm; Bulwick Village Hall, Thursday, 7.30pm; Yarwell Village Hall, Thursday, 7.30pm; Fotheringhay Village Hall, March 11, 7.30pm; Easton-on-the-Hill Village Hall, March 14, 7pm; Duddington Village Hall, March 14, 7.30pm; King’s Cliffe Community Centre, March 14, 7.30pm; Laxton Village Hall, March 15, 7pm; Collyweston Village Hall, March 15, 7.30pm; Harringworth Village Hall, March 16, 7.30pm.

Group chairman Robin Gifford, said: “This is a principle. Do local people have the power as decision-makers in the area or is it Eric Pickles (Local Government minister) who decides?”

Augen says that site has not filled as quickly as anticipated and will not be filled by 2013.

A statement says: “As a major planning application is required to extend the life of the site, which will include the soil recycling and treatment facility, Augean has given consideration to the viability of extending its operation into land to the west that is within its ownership and the current planning boundary, and has decided that for management reasons and to give clarity to the local community, to seek permission for additional void space as well as a time extension. This will give the site a life to 2026.

“Environmental studies and scheme design work are being undertaken and the company will soon start on a wide community consultation programme.

It is anticipated that the application will be submitted to Northamptonshire County Council around August 2011.

“Augean recognises waste management sites of this nature can be of concern to the community. Since acquisition of the site it has made significant investment to ensure high operating standards. The site is a nationally important facility providing a safe and secure location for our more difficult to manage wastes.”