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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Lake District should be 'no go' for N-dump

The Lake District should be automatically excluded from being the proposed site of a nuclear waste dump, a Cumbrian lawyer has said.

John Wilson, of Portinscale, near Keswick, will express the view at a public meeting in Keswick next Friday.

The meeting has been called by a group of Keswick residents who are concerned about the West Cumbria Managing Radioactive Waste Safely project to seek a location for a high-level nuclear waste repository.

Mr Wilson, a commercial lawyer, will state that the Lake District National Park should be taken out of the equation because of its special protected status.

He said: “It seems entirely self-evident that the national park is in play but in my view this is wrong.

“A national park should only be considered when all other sites in the country have been exhausted. That is plainly not the case here.

“If we go to stage four of the process and the national park has not been excluded then we move on to a very slippery slope indeed, given nowhere else is being looked at.

“I believe it to be both in our local and national interests to give a clear and very strong message to our local and national politicians that this is not acceptable; nor indeed is it sensible.”

Harry Marsland, a London and Keswick-based marketing expert, will speak about the significance of the Lake District brand in relation to what is being proposed.

Mr Marsland said: “Research shows that the Lake District has a near faultless image and is the best regarded UK destination. A nuclear dump will do significant damage to that image.”

The meeting will include a presentation of work by Professor David Smythe on the area’s geology.

Keith Richardson, Keswick author and publisher, will chair the meeting.

He said: “I hope the views expressed will help people formulate their own opinions – if they have not already done so – and that they will make those views known to the councillors who face such a critical decision.

“This is arguably the single most important decision that has faced Cumbria and the Lake District in recent times.”

The meeting will take place at Queen’s Hall, Keswick School, next Friday at 7pm.

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