To ask Her Majesty's Government how they envisage that local authorities will express an interest in hosting a geological waste disposal facility when the area in question has a two-tier authority; and which tier will be the decision-making authority within the meaning of that expression as used in the Government's White Papers on nuclear policy. [HL1440]
As set out in the White Paper Managing Radioactive Waste Safely: A Framework for Implementing Geological Disposal, there is no reason why two or more local authorities should not submit a combined expression of interest in hosting a geological disposal facility as, in practice, the initial area of investigation could cross local authority boundaries or involve two tiers of local government.
Local government will be responsible for the key local decisions in the siting process based on advice and recommendations from a local community siting partnership. For participating areas that cross local authority boundaries or have two-tier local government, the Government will require clarity about which local authorities will take decisions about partnership recommendations.
The Government believe it to be desirable that, in areas where there are a number of local authorities involved, they work constructively together to take forward expressions of interest.