Updated: Mar 31
Sellafield Ltd are looking to expand car parking “opportunities” up to 16 miles from the site. The nuclear waste industry is looking for parking lot areas of up to 4 acres in West Cumbria including in the Lake District National Park. Four acres could accommodate 600 cars. For comparison one of the largest public car parks in Cumbria is the Sands Centre, Carlisle which has 120 spaces next to the Swifts Bank car park of 188 spaces.
The largest car park by far in Cumbria is the “temporary” greenfield/common land site of Yottenfews car park.
Yottenfews "temporary offsite carpark" (image Google maps)
This is the “temporary” offsite car park which was used in the 1980’s to accommodate the thousands of construction workers for the now defunct Thorp nuclear waste reprocessing site at Sellafield. In a full Copeland Borough Council meeting of 2006 the Yottenfews problem was discussed: "The site was only agreed as a temporary car parking facility. The policy is to turn it back to green field. Parking is an integral part of the use of Sellafield site unit in planning terms. Yottenfews car parking represents an extension of that use and one we want to resist ..” Temporary planning permission was repeatedly renewed over decadeswith a view to returning Yottenfews to its greenfield/common land status. But earlier this month (March 3rd 2022) the Borough Council caved in to pressure from the nuclear industry to make Yottenfews carpark permanent and ditch conditions. This “delegated decision" was taken without a vote or any discussion despite the previous temporary status of Yottenfews over decades. But even so, Yottenfews is still not enough for the growing nuclear waste industry.
Lakes Against Nuclear Dump have had sight of a recent letter sent out to Parish Councils in West Cumbria from “global real estate advisor” Avison Young acting on behalf of Sellafield Ltd.
The letter states:
"On behalf of our retained clients, Sellafield Ltd, we are instructed to
identify suitable car park sites which meet the following criteria:
All locations considered within 16 miles south of Sellafield
All opportunities considered that would be capable of car park usage
0.5 acres (0.2 hectares) to 4 acres (1.62 hectares).
Preference would be for car parking in a single area, but locations within walking distance of each other would also be considered.
Please include details of the current site, and if relevant, any buildings that would require demolition on site.
Opportunities to be identified as soon as possible.”
As well as the newly (and illegally??) designated “permanent” Yottenfews site, Sellafield already have access to substantial offsite car parking with the old Kangol factory at Cleator Moor being given planning permission for 600 cars in 2019 along with offsite car parking at Greengarth, Holmrook and elsewhere. It is beyond Monty Pythonesque that at the same time that Trudy Harrison MP says “there is plenty of room at Sellafield for new nuclear build,” letters are sent out seeking to outsource car parking from the Sellafield site. In 2018 Sellafield stated that: "To clear space for future decommissioning projects, we needed to remove 1,300 parking spots on the site”
The outsourcing of Sellafield’s car parking has already proven controversial with the expansion of Sellafeld rat runs to a wider rural area despite Sellafield’s fig leaf claims of “sustainability” and “easing congestion."
John Barnes, Parish Councillor for Muncaster Parish Council has concerns about the council’s inability to even so much as question such a move, asking WHY the need for such an arrangement, except (possibly) to facilitate borehole construction for the GDF? ...and asking why the hell should people be expected to find space sufficient for around 600 car-sized vehicles with no damned reason given ...and in SSSI and AONB areas, too?
Muncaster Parish Council is a major beneficiary of nuclear waste grants (LLWR/GDF) with some councillors in favour of seeing the Muncaster area used for the disposal of nuclear waste, and whose Chair is employed by the NDA.
The suspicions of local people are confirmed by the purchases of land, mining and mineral rights and exploratory borehole drilling in the vicinity of the Low Level Waste Repository at Drigg. A Freedom of Information request from a concerned local revealed land and mining rights “purchases were completed" by the NDA at this time last year ( March 2021).
The Nuclear Waste industry wants to pave paradise and put up a whole load of new parking lots in order to facilitate nuclear dumps… and they call it “green” and “clean.”
The Avison Young letter asking for car parking "opportunities" for Sellafield Ltd has been sent to media along with the information above
"The site was only agreed as a temporary car parking facility. The policy is to turn it back to green field 2. Parking is an integral part of the use of Sellafield site unit in planning terms 3. Yottenfews car parking represents an extension of that use and one we want to resist unless it arises from increase in economic activities giving rise to employment and economic benefits to the area and meets complies with the councils planning and sustainability policies as set out in the Local Plan".
Permanent Car Park "Delegated Decision" Yottenfews https://www.copeland.gov.uk/sites/default/files/attachments/d_weekly_list_of_decisions_10_12_10.pdf
Yottenfews Permanent Car Park 2022 https://copeland.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s12307/Item%205%20Delegated%20Decisions%20Cover%20Report.pdf
Yottenfews - Common Land