CONTROVERSIAL proposals to store nuclear waste not produced at Berkeley power station at a store on the site have been approved by the county council.

Gloucestershire County Council’s planning committee backed Magnox’s proposal but did not discuss the potential for connected community benefits despite requests.

Stroud district councillor Penny Wride spoke before the committee considered the application to request that the local area received £1,000 per package transported to Berkeley as a way to appease local residents.

Magnox has estimated that the change, which would mean a separate waste store does not have to be built at Oldbury Nuclear Power Station, would save the taxpayer £15million.

About 130 waste packages will now be moved to Berkeley from Oldbury over the next two years, following the permission granted by the committee.

Concerns had been raised by local residents and councillors about the change to a condition which stated that only waste produced at Berkeley power station would be stored there.

Stroud District Council also objected to the change due to the potential environmental risks of transporting the packages between the two power stations.

At a public consultation event organised by Magnox to allay concerns, Cllr Wride and former Berkeley town councillor John Stanton told the Gazette that they would like to see some financial recompense for the change but Magnox said that community funds were already available through the firm’s socio-economic fund, set up to provide grants following the decommissioning of Berkeley power station. 

At the committee meeting last Thursday, Cllr Wride requested a sum of £1,000 per waste package to be considered if permission was granted.

Despite approving the application, the committee did not mention any form of community benefit in its decision.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Wride said she was “disappointed” that the issue was not discussed.

“It really disappointed me,” She told the Gazette. “We are saving the taxpayer millions of pounds by accepting this change and it is normal planning practice to offer some community benefit.”

“We could scream and shout and jump up and down but the decision has been made.

“I would have liked some recognition from the committee and of course I’m very disappointed as I thought I had made a decent case.”

The committee decision has been welcomed by Magnox. A spokesman for Magnox said that it would help them make better use of their resources.

They said: “We are pleased the committee has agreed with the planning officer’s recommendation and granted approval for our plans to move a small number of waste packages from Oldbury to Berkeley for interim storage.” 

“This will help us make best use of our existing resources and provide value for the taxpayer.

“We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders as we now look to progress our plans.”