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King's Cliffe radioactive landfill gets approval to accept more waste

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has given the go-ahead to the expansion of a hazardous waste landfill site in Northamptonshire.

The East Northants Resource Management Facility (ENRMF) in King’s Cliffe, run by waste firm Augean, landfills low-level radioactive waste from nuclear power stations, science and research facilities and hospitals.

Augean put forward plans to increase the capacity of an existing soil treatment plant at the site from 100,000 to 150,000 tonnes per annum of contaminated materials, and for a new landfill void for hazardous wastes and low-level radioactive waste.

Planning permission was considered by the secretary of state as a “nationally significant” site. The facility could take in about 250,000 tonnes of material each year.

Pickles concluded there would be a “significant gap” in the UK’s disposal and soil treatment capacity after 2016 if the development did not take place.

His decision read: “There is a compelling case for authorising the ENRMF scheme, particularly given the significant continuing level of demand for hazardous waste landfill capacity and the requirement for low level radioactive waste landfill facilities.”

The site is strongly opposed by some local residents, who have been appealing against planning decisions. The King’s Cliffe Waste Watchers campaign group is concerned about the material being dumped.

A statement from Augean said: “We would like to reassure the local community of our commitment to achieving high standards of regulatory compliance through the application of good management practices.

“As well as providing a location for the disposal of hazardous wastes like asbestos or residues from recovery or treatment operations, the site will continue to provide an innovative soil recycling and treatment facility which has served national projects such as the Olympics and Crossrail.”

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