Cumbria Tourism to say 'no' to nuclear dump - but only if it enters the Lake District National Park

Eric Robson (left) with the late Alfred Wainwright

Eric Robson (left) with the late Alfred Wainwright

First published in News

THE lead body for tourism in Cumbria will object to a vast underground nuclear repository for the county if it encroaches inside Lake District National Park territory, it has said.

Cumbria Tourism has explained its position of ‘neutrality’ in a letter to leading politician Baroness Verma of Leicester; whose portfolio at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, includes the issue.

The board’s statement, written by chairman, Eric Robson, comes ahead of a key vote next week involving Cumbria County Council, Allerdale and Copeland councils on January 30.

Cumbria Tourism represents more than 3,000 tourism businesses in the £2-billion a year tourism industry - the bulk of which are within the area designated national park.

Some in the county’s tourism industry are sufficiently concerned to already be actively campaigning against what protestors call an underground 'nuclear dump.'

They estimate it would be ‘deeper than Scafell is high, and bigger than the City of Carlisle’.

The Keswick-based Lake District Hotels group, run by hoteliers Kit and Charles Graves, are among the high profile tourism operators calling on Cumbria’s withdrawal from the process.

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At the weekend, protestors from Radiation Free South Lakeland held a ‘Ditch The Dump’ rally in Bowness with organisers saying it attracted over 100 people who signed a giant postcard destined for Coun Eddie Martin, the leader of Cumbria County Council.

However, Eric Robson, chairman of Cumbria Tourism, said in its letter to the Baroness that the issue of nuclear waste is a ‘problem which needs to be addressed.’

"The executive board of Cumbria Tourism wishes to make clear that taking a neutral stance (at this stage) does not imply tacit support for a nuclear waste repository," wrote Mr Robson.

He said that there were no current definitive plans to ‘suggest it might be built in the Lake District National Park or the Solway Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,’ as opposition groups have maintained.

However, he added: “It is inevitable that Cumbria Tourism would object strongly should further research lead to any suggestion that a nuclear waste repository could be considered in either the National Park or AONB.”

Marianne Birkby, of Radiation Free Lakeland, described Cumbria Tourism’s position as ‘weak kneed acquiescence.'

She also said the organisation and a recent statement by the Friends of the Lake District on the issue was tantamount to: ‘Playing to an increasingly angry gallery but not doing the right thing and opposing.’

The Friends, a conservation charity group, have written to councillors on CCC requesting they reject the chance to remain in the search for a potential site.

The Friends said their approach would be 'further geological desk-based analysis, together with related hydrological conditions, being conducted independently and openly, involving a wide range of interest groups and public representatives before progressing any further towards site selection.

Jack Ellerby, policy officer at FoLD said: “Public anxiety, by a wide range of interests and communities potentially affected, about the neutrality of the decision making process associated with the MRWS (Managing Radioactive Waste Safely) process is growing.

“The process has lost the trust of the people and businesses of Cumbria. Suitable geology to host any underground repository is key to the whole process to ensure a safe, secure and technical facility."

“The evidence we’ve seen shows the potential is low in the mudstones on the Solway and the Eskdale granites. In the interests of Cumbria’s economy and environment as a whole, land in or under the Lake District National Park and the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, should be taken out of the equation in any case.”

 

Comments (9)

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12:51pm Mon 21 Jan 13

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

The geology of the rock beneath West Cumbria should be the deciding factor, but so far it looks like a battle between the need for jobs in Workington, Whitehaven and Maryport versus the tourist industry in The Lake District National Park. This sitting on the fence by Cumbria Tourism adds nothing new but is politically shrewd. I hope an independent geological survey will settle this one way or the other, because things will turn ugly and lawyers will prosper if it doesn't.
The geology of the rock beneath West Cumbria should be the deciding factor, but so far it looks like a battle between the need for jobs in Workington, Whitehaven and Maryport versus the tourist industry in The Lake District National Park. This sitting on the fence by Cumbria Tourism adds nothing new but is politically shrewd. I hope an independent geological survey will settle this one way or the other, because things will turn ugly and lawyers will prosper if it doesn't. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 0

10:45pm Mon 21 Jan 13

hemyfan says...

The fence Cumbria Tourism and FOLD are sitting on has shaky foundations. Jobs are important whether in the lake district or on the west coast. The priority should be that that the waste is dealt without unnecessary delay. It is criminal that the government wasting time and money on an area which is known to be geologically unsuitable only because they know that in the UK West Cumbria is unique in even considering it! Call their bluff on "volunteerism"! Say no! They will then have to start from the premise of looking for the safest and most secure solution, which will certainly not be in the complex geology of Cumbria. The waste is not safe at Sellafield and the insult to us all is that no political party has the courage to take on the legacy of the secretive (oh yes it is) toxic and eye wateringly expensive nuclear industry. The nuclear jobs in Cumbria are secure for generations regardless. End this diversionary charade now and get serious about giving very big bribes to suitable areas elsewhere.
The fence Cumbria Tourism and FOLD are sitting on has shaky foundations. Jobs are important whether in the lake district or on the west coast. The priority should be that that the waste is dealt without unnecessary delay. It is criminal that the government wasting time and money on an area which is known to be geologically unsuitable only because they know that in the UK West Cumbria is unique in even considering it! Call their bluff on "volunteerism"! Say no! They will then have to start from the premise of looking for the safest and most secure solution, which will certainly not be in the complex geology of Cumbria. The waste is not safe at Sellafield and the insult to us all is that no political party has the courage to take on the legacy of the secretive (oh yes it is) toxic and eye wateringly expensive nuclear industry. The nuclear jobs in Cumbria are secure for generations regardless. End this diversionary charade now and get serious about giving very big bribes to suitable areas elsewhere. hemyfan
  • Score: 0

12:46am Tue 22 Jan 13

twitchy says...

All this protracted discussion and dithering is detrimental to the tourist industry and to the confidence of local people in those supposed to represent them.
It doesn't matter how many tests. bore holes and consultations are conducted, it will not change the geology of the area under consideration, it was deemed unsuitable in the 90s and it is unsuitable now.
We need a positive, definite, NO, NOT HERE NOT EVER.
Then residents and businesses who have invested heavily in the National Park on the understanding that the area will be PROTECTED can breath a sigh of relief.
Those looking to have a repository in Cumbria will exploit any sign of reticence.
All this protracted discussion and dithering is detrimental to the tourist industry and to the confidence of local people in those supposed to represent them. It doesn't matter how many tests. bore holes and consultations are conducted, it will not change the geology of the area under consideration, it was deemed unsuitable in the 90s and it is unsuitable now. We need a positive, definite, NO, NOT HERE NOT EVER. Then residents and businesses who have invested heavily in the National Park on the understanding that the area will be PROTECTED can breath a sigh of relief. Those looking to have a repository in Cumbria will exploit any sign of reticence. twitchy
  • Score: 0

5:19am Tue 22 Jan 13

Moonbase says...

'Tourism'......has anybody been to Bowness lately or even over summer.
It's like a Ghost Town.
If it was not for the japs comming, god knows what it would be like.
It's time for some radical thinking and bringing back speed boating back to Windermere and breathing a bit of life into the Lakes.
I agree with 'Twitcy's' comments but unfortunately this is a perfect opportunity for the usual fat cat gravey train to rumble on and on.....expenses,expe
nses and funny handshake heaven.
Pesimist no, just realist.
No to the Dump and Yes to getting rid of old bad wood.
'Tourism'......has anybody been to Bowness lately or even over summer. It's like a Ghost Town. If it was not for the japs comming, god knows what it would be like. It's time for some radical thinking and bringing back speed boating back to Windermere and breathing a bit of life into the Lakes. I agree with 'Twitcy's' comments but unfortunately this is a perfect opportunity for the usual fat cat gravey train to rumble on and on.....expenses,expe nses and funny handshake heaven. Pesimist no, just realist. No to the Dump and Yes to getting rid of old bad wood. Moonbase
  • Score: 0

8:04am Tue 22 Jan 13

magical trevor says...

Moonbase seems to think that every time something crops up with a slight hint of drama, it should be used to 'get rid of old bad wood' as she\he puts it. There are bigger issues at stake here, than your perceived grudges against those in command of the great ship that is Cumbria.
Moonbase seems to think that every time something crops up with a slight hint of drama, it should be used to 'get rid of old bad wood' as she\he puts it. There are bigger issues at stake here, than your perceived grudges against those in command of the great ship that is Cumbria. magical trevor
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Tue 22 Jan 13

marianneb says...

surely Cumbria Tourism means just that the whole of Cumbria, which includes West Cumbria and the Solway ...at the moment Cumbria Tourism and Eric Robson are giving the green light to the toxic HOLE of Cumbria while undermining the beautiful Greater Lakeland.
surely Cumbria Tourism means just that the whole of Cumbria, which includes West Cumbria and the Solway ...at the moment Cumbria Tourism and Eric Robson are giving the green light to the toxic HOLE of Cumbria while undermining the beautiful Greater Lakeland. marianneb
  • Score: 0

5:13pm Tue 22 Jan 13

magical trevor says...

Stop being hysterical about this marianneb. It won't be a 'toxic hole'. Your hystrionics are not helpful and show a particular naivety in the reality of this proposal. It's not your Lakeland\Cumbria....
nor is it mine....but unhelpful statements using words such as 'toxic', and 'dump' immediately show the childish way in which many people are viewing this matter. I know you won't like me having an opinion on the matter and on what you've said...but hey ho, I'm not subject to your whims.
Stop being hysterical about this marianneb. It won't be a 'toxic hole'. Your hystrionics are not helpful and show a particular naivety in the reality of this proposal. It's not your Lakeland\Cumbria.... nor is it mine....but unhelpful statements using words such as 'toxic', and 'dump' immediately show the childish way in which many people are viewing this matter. I know you won't like me having an opinion on the matter and on what you've said...but hey ho, I'm not subject to your whims. magical trevor
  • Score: 0

9:21pm Tue 22 Jan 13

debs2k says...

Why on earth would you want to put a nuclear dump in such a beautiful place.. The best place for it would be underneath London
Why on earth would you want to put a nuclear dump in such a beautiful place.. The best place for it would be underneath London debs2k
  • Score: 0

10:42pm Tue 22 Jan 13

Moonbase says...

magical trevor wrote:
Moonbase seems to think that every time something crops up with a slight hint of drama, it should be used to 'get rid of old bad wood' as she\he puts it. There are bigger issues at stake here, than your perceived grudges against those in command of the great ship that is Cumbria.
Great ship ,would that be the the 'Titanic`?
[quote][p][bold]magical trevor[/bold] wrote: Moonbase seems to think that every time something crops up with a slight hint of drama, it should be used to 'get rid of old bad wood' as she\he puts it. There are bigger issues at stake here, than your perceived grudges against those in command of the great ship that is Cumbria.[/p][/quote]Great ship ,would that be the the 'Titanic`? Moonbase
  • Score: 0

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