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Volume 932: debated on Wednesday 18 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the terms of reference of the public inquiry into the proposed Thorp plant at Windscale.

The inquiry is into the planning application and any considerations material to it. Planning inquiries do not have "terms of reference" as such, but, in accordance with the Inquiries Procedure Rules, I issued a statement on 5th April setting out the points which, on the information so far available, appear to me likely to be relevant to my consideration of the application. It will also be open to the inspector to hear evidence on any other matters which he is satisfied are relevant.The statement is appended:The Chief Executive,Cumbria County CouncilSIR,5

April 1977



I am directed by the Secretary of State for the Environment to refer to his direction dated 25 March 1977 that the application made by British Nuclear Fuels Limited for permission to develop land at Windscale and Calder Works. Sellafield, Cumbria, to establish a plant for reprocessing irradiated oxide nuclear fuels and support site services (application A referred to in BNFL's letter to Copeland Borough Council of 1 March 1977), be referred to him.

The Secretary of State will consider all relevant aspects of the proposed development. On the information so far available the following points appear to him likely to be relevant to his consideration of the application:

  • 1. the implications of the proposed development for the safety of the public and for other aspects of the national interest;
  • 2. the implications for the environment of the construction and operation of the proposed development in view of the measures that can be adopted under
  • (i) the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 to control the disposal of solid, gaseous and liquid wastes which would result from the proposed development; and
  • (ii) the Nuclear Installations Act 1965 to provide for the safety of operations at the reprocessing plant;
  • 3. the effect of the proposed development on the amenities of the area;
  • 4. the effect of additional traffic movements both by road and rail which would result from the proposed development;
  • 5. the implications of the proposed development for local employment;
  • 6. the extent of the additional provision that would need to be made for housing and public services as a result of the proposed development.
  • This letter is to be taken as the Secretary of State's statement under rule 6(1) of the Town and Country Planning (Inquiries Procedure) Rules 1974, and your Council are asked to serve copies of it on the applicant and all section 29 parties as soon as possible and in any event within the period specified in the said rule 6(1).

    I am Sir,

    Your obedient Servant,