Media Blackout on Lillyhall’s Radioactive Waste Landfill Decision- WHY?

Beneath the Dark Mountain, lies the Dark Secret... the earth is Unearth - and can never be unearthed.
Beneath the Dark Mountain, lies the Dark Secret… the earth is Unearth – and can never be unearthed.
"exempt" nuke waste in landfill - NO THANKS! image:News and Star 7th June
“exempt” nuke waste in landfill – NO THANKS!
image:News and Star 7th June

The following is a letter sent to councillors by a supporter of a radiation free Cumbria.

Dear Councillor
Re: Lillyhall Landfill

Doubtless many of you felt that yesterday's planning meeting saw you bounced into
making a decision on the future of the landfill site at Lillyhall and most
importantly on the acceptance of radioactive waste into the site.
It seems from the little I have been able to read about the meeting that there was
an element of confusion about what activity level of waste was finally agreed to. 
It would be helpful if you could confirm what wastes have actually been given
permission for acceptance at the site.  Suspiciously, there has been no comment from
the County Council on this decision or from FCC.  The only public reference or
report to the meeting thus far has been through the good offices of Marianne Birkby.

From the point of view of the general public it feels like this has all been a
behind closed doors done deal.  That is not an accusation directed at the
Councillors, but at the planning officers concerned and the legal team who seemed to
have compelled you into an uncomfortable decision.
I am particularly puzzled by the recommendation by the planning officers in the
light of the what was said at the Keekle Head inquiry by them on the subject of
Lillyhall.  I would like to draw your attention to the inspectors report which can
be read in full here:
In paragraph 6.230 the Inspector says that:
CCC has explicitly not allocated Lillyhall for radioactive waste disposal in the
Consultation version of the new Minerals & Waste Local Plan [DOC L1, para 20.19],
principally because of its location adjacent to one of the county’s main employment
land sites and cumulative impact of further extending the several decades of
landfilling in this locality. It was confirmed at the inquiry that this remains the
council officers’ view. It is fruitless to speculate whether this stance will
survive the consultation on, and examination of the Plan. [2.99, 2.100, 3.40]
If what the Inspector says is true - and I'd be sure that it was -then I would like
you to ask the planning officers if they are guilty of misleading a public inquiry
about the intentions and recommendations at Lillyhall?  Why has there been such a
change between last summers inquiry and yesterdays permission?  Does this make their
recommendations to you and the insistence that Lillyhall should go ahead invalid?
I look forward to your further response
Yours sincerely
Grace Forde

more info below:



Correspondence from 2010 – the whole sorry tale of how Lillyhall is stitched up as a Radiatioctive Waste Dump – just don’t call it radioactive waste “exempt” and then the limits can be increased once the precedent is set…

Subject: Re: Lillyhall Landfill
From: “Fairhurst, Andrew” <>
Date: Tue, July 6, 2010 3:57 pm
To: wildart
Priority: Normal

Dear Marianne

Ref. Enquiry Ref 100518DF/30 (Duty of Care Ref 5281) – Lillyhall

Further to your email of 16 June 2010 please find attached a copy of the
permit that we have granted for disposals at the Lillyhall Landfill
site, which details, amongst other things, the monitoring requirements.
I hope the following explanation addresses most of your queries about
the issue of disposal of radioactive waste at the site.

The Lillyhall Landfill site is operated by Waste Recycling Group (WRG)
under an Environmental Permit (Reference EA/EPR/GP3037SJ/V004). This was
initially issued under the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations,
but automatically became and Environmental Permit when the Environmental
Permitting Regulations (England and Wales) 2007 were introduced. This
permit allows Lillyhall Stage 3 Landfill Site to receive and dispose of
Directive waste. Radioactive waste is not Directive waste and is not
covered by this waste legislation.

This means that WRG cannot dispose of radioactive waste at the Lillyhall
Landfill unless it has been ‘exempted’ from the requirements of the
Radioactive Substances Act 1993. Various ‘exemption orders’ exist which
provide a mechanism of control without excessive bureaucracy. They
include exemptions that allow for materials to be handled and disposed
of as if they were not radioactive waste, due for instance to their very
low activity. An example of this is the ‘Substances of Low Activity
(SOLA) exemption order’ or ‘phosphatic substances exemption order’ under
the Radioactive Substances Act 1993.

Radioactive waste which comes under such an exemption order may be
disposed of to the Lillyhall Landfill site under the permit we have
granted, providing the waste otherwise meets all the requirements of
that permit (for instance it does not pose any other hazardous
properties such as being an irritant or corrosive). The waste must also
fall within an appropriate waste type (EWC Code) as defined within
Schedule 3 of the permit and be consistent with Waste Acceptance
Criteria in line with condition 2.8 of the permit.

On this basis exempted radioactive waste has been disposed of at the
Lillyhall Landfill site in the past and further disposals may occur. As
described above, WRG do not need a specific permit to dispose of such
waste which is covered by an appropriate exemption order.

This situation may change. WRG has recently applied for a permit to
dispose of High Volume – Very Low Level Waste (HV-VLLW) at the Lillyhall
Landfill site. HV-VLLW is radioactive waste that does not fall within an
exemption order and represents the lowest category of radioactive waste.
HV-VLLW is defined within the 2007 UK Government Policy on Low Level
Waste Management.

We received WRG’s application for this in 2009 and a copy of the case
that supported the application is attached for your information along
with our ‘Introductory Document’ for the application, issued to
consultees at the time. Our determination of this is on hold following
the Department for the Environment and Climate Change’s (DECC’s)
decision that the site would need European Commission (EC) approval of
an Article 37 submission under the Euratom Treaty before any permit
could be issued. Such a submission has recently been made to the EC and
a decision is likely in early 2011. At that point, and depending on the
decision of the EC, we will complete our determination of WRG’s
application and potentially issue a permit for the disposal of HV-VLLW
at the site.

Your enquiry refers to Lillyhall receiving radioactive waste from
Chapelcross nuclear power station in Scotland. The Lillyhall Landfill is
permitted to take waste from this site, and any other, providing it is
exempt radioactive waste (as described above). I suggest that the
Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is best placed to answer
your query regarding the application of Scottish Policy.

Yours sincerely


Andrew Fairhurst
Nuclear Regulator
Nuclear Regulation Group (North)
Environment Agency
Ghyll Mount, Gillan Way
Penrith 40 Business Park
Penrith, Cumbria CA11 9BP
Tel: 01768 215729

—–Original Message—–
From: wildart@mariannebirkby
Sent: 16 June 2010 15:21
To: nccc, Duty Of Care
Subject: Permit – and or safety assessment/monitoring guidelines for

Dear EA,

Radiation Free Lakeland would like to have sight of the Permit – and or
assessment/monitoring guidelines for Lillyhall in Cumbria

We have been trying for two months to find out what permits have been
issued to Waste Recycling Group regarding their Lillyhall landfill
near Workington. I have written to and phoned the Environment Agency,
Cumbria County Council and Waste Recycling Group all to no avail ( some
correspondence below).

CCC say it is nothing to do with them and appear to have washed their
hands of this newly deregulated nuclear waste going into landfill.
Outrageously the original planning consents given by the council mention
nothing about radioactive wastes going into landfill – so there was no
opposition to the landfill.

WRG say they have NO permits and do not need one following the 2007 law
deregulation of nuclear wastes. They have however applied to you for a
permit for higher level wastes for Lillyhall.

Why is Lillyhall in Cumbria recieving radioactive wastes from Chapel
in Scotland when the Scottish policy on nuclear waste is to site it on
as close as possible to the nuclear site from which it arises?

The Environmental Permit or assessment/monitoring should be available
only to us but to Cumbria County Council who appear to know nothing
any such permit. How can they or anyone else safely monitor the site
without guidelines?

Radiation Free Lakeland would like to have sight of the Permit – and or
safety assessment/monitoring guidelines for Lillyhall.

We would like to have sight of these as soon as possible.

With many thanks

Marianne Birkby

on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland


Some of the Correspondence in the quest to have sight of
guidelines/permit/assessment for Lillyhall recieving radioactive wastes,

100518DF/30 RE: Lillyhall Radioactive waste.
From: “Enquiries, Unit” <>
Date: Tue, May 18, 2010 4:39 pm
To: wildart@mariannebirkby

Dear Marianne,

Thank you for your enquiry regarding radioactive waste in Lillyhall. For
your information, I have passed your query to our local External
Relations Team (Planning and Corporate Services) for advice. They will
check whether we hold this information and they will be in touch with
you shortly.

Should you wish to contact them in the meantime, their details are
below. Please quote your Enquiry Ref 100518DF/30 in your correspondence
with us.

External Relations
Planning and Corporate Services
Environment Agency
North West Region, Northern Area
Ghyll Mount
Gillan Way
Penrith 40 Business Park
CA11 9BP
Tel: 08708 506506

I trust this information will be of some assistance to you Marianne.

Kind Regards

David Fenn

The Environment Agency
National Customer Contact Centre
*08708 506506
(Ext: 711 3147
How would you rate the service you’ve received from us?

Let us know by completing our short online customer survey which is



P Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail
—–Original Message—–
From: wildart@mariannebirkby
Sent: 18 May 2010 13:25
To: Enquiries, Unit
Subject: Lillyhall Radioactive waste.

Dear EA,

I would like to have copies (or be directed to where I can find copies)
the documentation that approves radioactive waste in Lillyhall and the
measures in place to ensure safety.

Presumably there is a hazardous radioactive wastes license from the
Agency for Lillyhall ?
– I would like a copy of (or be directed to where I can find )that

The existing “consents” the council have provided me with are specific
composting and material processing at Lillyhall -all of which recieved
objection” ie people approved planning permissions on the understanding
that inert materials rather than radioactive materials were to be

yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
Radiation Free Lakeland
015395 63671
“conditions in Appendix 2.

2.1 The applicant operates a waste management site at Lillyhall
waste treatment, sorting, transfer and
landfill. The site includes an area at the northern end for the
site on which permission has been
granted for composting and material processing (by crushing and
screening). The area was formerly used
as the plant area for the Potatopot opencast coal site and has its own
separate access to the public highway.
Planning permission expires on 31 January 2005.
2.2 This application seeks to extend the life of the permission until 1
June 2014, which is the expiry date of the
main landfill permission. Since summer of last year the applicant has
been composting the green waste
collected from households by both Allerdale and Copeland Borough
The operation is considered
to be working satisfactorily and the applicant is now looking to enter
into a longer term contract with the
councils and to make improvements to the facility.
2.3 The site is also used to process sandstone rock excavated as part of
cell formation on the landfill site to
provide material for use as a drainage blanket. Increased standards
imposed by the EU Landfill Directive
have increased the thickness of the drainage blanket required from 30cm
50cm, an increase in stone
required which would place a burden on local gravel pits. Processing on
site makes the applicant self reliant
in drainage media and enables finite local gravel resources to be used
more effectively elsewhere. The
permission also permits importation of construction and demolition waste
for processing.
2.4 The applicant is not aware that the operation of this facility has
given rise to any complaints and would like
to continue its use until 1 June 2014.

3.1 Allerdale Borough Council (Environmental Health) – No objections.
3.2 Copeland Borough Council (Environmental Health). Given the scale
nature of the activity it is unlikely
to adversely affect persons working or living in the Council’s area. No
adverse observations.
3.3 Distington Parish Council – No objections.
3.4 Highway Authority – No objection

etc etc……



Lillyhall /Keekle Head Radwaste
From: wildart@mariannebirkby
Date: Thu, May 20, 2010 10:08 am
To: andrew.lockley@irwinmitchell.cok
Priority: Normal

Dear Andrew,

Cumbria County Council do not hold a copy of the Environmental Permit
Lillyhall – and appear to have washed their hands of radioactive waste
landfill saying to me on the phone : the original consents do not say
anything about radioactive waste – they don’t say it can’t go in !

The head person at CCC to speak to is off till Monday.

I have sent requests to the Environment Agency for the permits etc for

Still sending out feelers for the legal aid option

Kind regards,

Radiation Free Lakeland


—————————- Original Message
Subject: RE: Lillyhall /Keekle Head Radwaste
From: “Long, Nick” <>
Date: Wed, May 19, 2010 9:15 am
To: wildart@mariannebirkby
Cc: “Pell, John” <>

The Lillyhall landfill site is not owned or run by Cumbria County
Council. It is run by a private company – WRG. There might be a copy of
a past Licence issued by the Environment Agency on our planning
application files though this is unlikely and you will have to inspect
the files for yourself. A copy of the Licence for this site may be
available from the company.

As advised can you please direct further enquiries to Mr John Pell in
relation to the Lillyhall site.

There is another landfill site at Lillyhall known as Distington because
it overlaps into Copeland District. This is due to close by the end of
this year. This site is run by CWM which is a wholly owned ‘arms length’
company of Cumbria CC. You may have not been correctly informed as to
the separation of the two sites.

The issue of what used to be known as a Waste Management Licence and is
now replaced with what is called an Environmental Permit has been the
statutory responsibility of the Environment Agency since it’s formation
in 1996. As advised you will be best served by contacting them direct
for copies of these documents.
Nick Long
—–Original Message—–
Sent: 18 May 2010 19:25
To: Long, Nick
Subject: RE: Lillyhall /Keekle Head Radwaste

Dear Mr Long,

Thank you for the information.

It is very strange that the County Council does not hold a copy of the
Environmental Permit issued to the County Council for Lillyhall – is
that usual practice?

We would like to see the Environmental Permit document along with any
licensing for Lillyhall.

Also we would like to have copies of the planning permission decision
notices for Lillyhall that relate to hazardous waste substances and if
these could be e-mailed free of charge we would very much appreciate it.

yours sincerely,

Marianne Birkby
on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland




The Planning Application number is:


Application No. 2/04/9010 District Allerdale

Applicant Alco Waste Management Parish Winscales Joseph Noble Road
Lillyhall Date of Receipt 26 April 2004 Workington

PROPOSAL Planning application for time extension to composting and
material processing area; Land at Lillyhall Landfill Site, Lillyhall,


> Dear Ms Birkby
> The information set out below does not give me the planning
> application /permission reference numbers which should be included in
> the actual report, extracts from which are below. If these extracts
> are taken from the links on the attached e-mails further below then
> the links will also lead to the documents that contain specific
> reference to the planning application/permission numbers.
> I can confirm that the County Council will not have a copy of the
> Environment Agency Environmental Permit issued for the Lillyhall site.
> You will have to contact the Environment Agency directly to see if a
> copy can be obtained. The only contact name I can give is Amy Heys,
> who is based at the Penrith office. As advised over the telephone
> today the Environment Agency officers are reluctant to release their
> direct dial telephone numbers so I suggest you use the e-mail which
> should be addressed to:
> and marked FAO Amy Heys.
> I understand that you are concerned as to the legal status of any
> consent that may approve the deposit of radioactive waste at the
> Lillyhall landfill site. As advised over the phone, once the
> application/permission numbers are made known it can be arranged for
> you to have the opportunity to inspect these at our offices. If you
> could suggest some dates that would most suit you this would be
> Once the numbers are known it is possible that copies of the planning
> permission decision notices could be e-mailed to you free of charge.
> You will see that I have circulated this e-mail to John Pell who
> personally knows the Lillyhall site and it’s history as well as the
> status of deposition of radioactive waste. He can be contacted direct
> on
> 01539 713421 and will be available from Monday May 24th. He will be
> able to advise as to the status and effect of the permissions and any
> conditions.
> Your subject heading also includes the matter of Keekle Head. This is
> currently the subject of a planning application which has yet to be
> determined. The application details can be accessed via the County
> Council website. This planning application reference number is
> 4/10/9001. Alternatively a hard copy of the application documents will

> be available for inspection at Copeland Borough Council offices. If
> you wish to discuss any details of the application at Keekle Head, the

> case officer is Mrs Rachel Brophy who can be contacted on 01539
> Nick Long
> Area Team Leader – Development Control
> —–Original Message—–
> From: wildart@mariannebirkby
> Sent: 18 May 2010 13:11
> To: Long, Nick
> Subject: Lillyhall /Keekle Head Radwaste
> Dear Nick,
> Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. I have attached below
> the “consents” for Lillyhall.
> I would like to have copies (or be directed to where I can find
> copies) of the documentation that approves radioactive waste in
> Lillyhall and the measures in place to ensure safety.
> Presumably the Council is in possession of a license from the
> Environment Agency for Lillyhall ?
> – I would like a copy of (or be directed to where I can find )that
> license.
> The existing “consents” are specific to composting and material
> processing which has recieved “no objection” ie inert materials.
> yours sincerely,
> Marianne Birkby
> Radiation Free Lakeland


Planning Application Lillyhall Landfill site

Hi Marianne


Please find the links to the report and the minutes from the meeting
held on 27 May 2004





Kind Regards,




Janine Hounslow

Senior Democratic Services Officer

Legal & Democratic Services

Cumbria County Council

The Courts

Carlisle, CA3 8NA


Tel: 01228 226906


7 thoughts on “Media Blackout on Lillyhall’s Radioactive Waste Landfill Decision- WHY?

  1. But you’ve made sure that people know now. And, people aren’t going to like to know that they and their loved ones are eating even small amounts of plutonium, because it never leaves. It’s going to be in the food and water as well as the oceans. It is cumulative so none of us need anymore. People may just get mad enough to get new elected officials. People ARE walking up. But, we must stop Fukushima too. Remember that your blog works even as you sleep.

  2. Pingback: Lillyhall radioactive waste dump - Page 3 - Wild About Britain

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