Copeland Borough Council, Allerdale Borough Council, and Cumbria County Council made an expression of interest in talking to government about siting a repository in West Cumbria, including those parts of the National Park in Copeland and Allerdale.
We, the Lake District National Park Authority, took up the offer of a place on the MRWS partnership in order to develop our knowledge and understanding of this process and what is involved in the development and construction of a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste.
We also wanted to ensure the national community interest is fully considered given that the area currently under consideration includes parts of the national park.
It is through this partnership that we have been able to understand about the size and scale of a potential facility, and this is the reason why we have advised the partnership that planning policies, relevant strategies and legislative frameworks relating to land use will need to be considered as an early step if the process moves forward. This may rule out certain scenarios, for example siting surface facilities within the national park.
We are pleased Cumbria County Council recognises the importance of the National Park's integrity and contribution to the Cumbrian economy and understand their reasoning for withdrawal from the process. We also understand and respect the decision from Copeland Borough Council.
We now need to turn our attention to making sure the Lake District National Park is a key economic driver for West Cumbria as well as the county at large, capitalising on its unique qualities, nationally and internationally.
Please go to the West Cumbria: Managing Radioactive Waste Safely website (opens in new window) for more details.