PROTESTORS accused county councillors of creating a ‘radioactive waste dump’ by extending planning permission for the Lillyhall Landfill site until 2029.

The Workington site has an Environmental Permit allowing it to accept ‘high volume very low level waste’ (VLLW).

But the Environment Agency said: ‘We understand to date that no VLLW has been disposed of at the site’.

The extension of planning permission was granted despite several members of Cumbria County Council’s Development Control and Regulation Committee vehemently opposing nuclear waste going into the site.

A condition was approved that the site should only accept VLLW after councillors expressed concerns against granting permission for Low Level Waste (LLW).

Coun Bert Richardson said the committee was being asked to play ‘Russian Roulette with people’s future’ if it were to allow LLW to be disposed of at Lillyfield.

Committee Chair Coun Alan Clark said members could only deal with the planning application and that ‘this is not about nuclear waste’.

But Coun Hilary Carrick said, “If we grant the planning application the Environment Agency permit for very low level waste will run concurrently with that.

“I have concerns about the fact that this particular site appears to be going more and more towards the nuclear.”

Four members of the public spoke at the meeting opposing the proposal, including Marianne Birkby of Radiation Free Lakeland.

Ms Birkby said: “The Council have advised setting a limit on the waste at 200 bequerels a gram – this is not good enough as this is the amount there is an admitted adverse risk to health.

“Councillors have a voice and they should use it – they have the wherewithal whether or not to extend the permits for this landfill – or whether to bring in new operators who will guarantee not to dump radioactive waste.”