Strong language

It's not just campaigners and activists who feel that the recent planning application for a new Enriched Uranium Facility at the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment was handled badly by West Berkshire Council.

West Berkshire has received stinging criticism from neighbouring Reading Borough Council, which has written to West Berkshire to highlight concerns about consultation over the planning application.

Local authorities usually communicate with each other using restrained, diplomatic language, but Reading's letter to West Berkshire states bluntly that "it was unacceptable that this Council was not consulted on this application".

The letter continues that Reading Borough Council members "failed to understand West Berkshires’ decision to not consult Reading Borough Council", and that the decision to ignore Reading "showed a lack of appreciation of the concerns held by many residents in Reading for the continued presence of AWE so close to this highly populated area."

Reading Borough has formally asked to be consulted on all future planning applications at AWE Aldermaston and AWE Burghfield in order to be given time to consider the scope of the planning applications and respond to them, and officers from the Berkshire unitary authorities are now drawing up guidelines for consultation with neighbouring planning authorities on major planning applications.

AWE's next planning application, for the 'Project Hydrus' hydrodynamics facility, is due to be submitted in April, and it will be interesting to see whether West Berkshire and AWE do any better than last time.

You can read a full copy of Reading Borough Council's letter to West Berkshire, released under the Freedom of Information Act, here:


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