NIS Update – AWE Assembly/ Disassembly facility Planning Application 08/02287/COMIND

Nuclear Information Service

30 Westwood Road Southampton SO17 1DN
tel/fax: +44 (0)2380 554434 m: 07880 557035

NIS UPDATE 30th January 2009

AWE Assembly/ Disassembly facility Planning Application 08/02287/COMIND

West Berks Council has received hundreds of Objections to the MoD application for AWE's new warhead dis/assembly complex at AWE Burghfield. In addition to the main warhead workshops, there are support buildings with 16 lighting protector towers, associated plant building, gate houses, vehicles inspection bays, sub-station buildings, access roads and hardstanding, all of which cause further drainage and flood risks.

Most Objections include flood risk issues and many refer to the severe flooding of the site in July 2007. The Regulators will be looking at the Objections and hopefully will take them seriously. It is one thing to support an application, but another to support it in the teeth of well-founded public objection. A catastrophic flood in future would result in a clear liability resting with all the experts who support this scheme.



Committee Hearing Date 4th March

The Application is expected to go before the Planning Committee on Wednesday 4thMarch. Should further issues arise before then relating to the application, objectors' letters to the Council have to be considered. NIS is currently taking legal advice regarding further representation to the Council.
Applicant: MoD Estates Blandford House Aldershot GU11 2HA Tel: 01252 361922
Planning Authority Case Officer: Clive Inwards WBC Market Street Newbury RG14 5DL

Improvement Notice on Criticality Control

AWE has met its obligation to the HSE Nuclear Inspector Regulator to improve its criticality operating arrangements by January 19th 2009. The NI has now asked AWE to apply the same principle across the site.

NIS Legal Challenge of the replacement of Trident

NIS's application for Appeal against the decision not to allow a judicial review of the Government's Trident replacement decision was heard on Monday 26th January 2009 in the High Court. Lord Justice Scott Baker commended our barrister, Michael Fordham QC for his ‘valiant' presentation, but remained unconvinced that this was a case that the court could hear and refused us leave go to the House of Lords. NIS is grateful for the support of the legal team gathered by solicitor, Phil Shiner, and to all the supporters who contributed to our legal fund. We all considered it worthwhile to challenge the decision to build a new generation of nuclear weapons, and to alert the Government to the strong legal opinion against its military nuclear policy, even though the English judicial system is not yet ready to hear it.


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