Energy Coast Laundry – a former car showroom.
Our investigations and opposition to this diabolic nuclear laundry have been stymied at every turn including a personal attack by Darren Ennis “Avid #Brexitwatcher back in Brussels after Gibraltar. Former Advisor to EU High Rep, Reuters journalist, civil nuclear advocate.” According to him this nuclear laundry has “nothing to do with Sellafield” yep they are only washing nearly 8 ton of Sellafield’s dirty laundry a day ….its clear whose interests this high flying reporter is protecting.
We have now had a reply from the Local Government Ombudsman (below) who say that because Allerdale Council have (now) asked the laundry to apply for retrospective planning permission there is no fault to answer. This is revisionist history. The ONLY reason that Allerdale Borough Council finally admitted that Energy Coast Laundry (Shortridge) was operating illegally was BECAUSE of our complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.
Allerdale Borough Council are continuing to allow this laundry to operate and there has been no definite date given for the (retrospective) planning decision. Incredibly the council have made it clear they are likely to rubber stamp this appalling nuclear laundry washing up to 7.75 tons of Sellafields laundry every day. This is despite the nuclear laundry flaunting the normal rules of planning….what else are they flaunting and why is Sellafield washing its dirty clothes on the Lillyhall Industrial Estate using the public water supply to dilute and disperse radioactive crapola into the public drains?
The next date that the decision could be heard is the 24th Sept so we are keeping that date free ‘just in case’ we need to present our ongoing petition and make the case against this diabolic nuclear laundry being granted retrospective planning permission. The official brief consultation has ended but you can still write to Allerdale Borough Council in opposition and ask to speak at the planning meeting against the retrospective planning application. It is important that Sellafield does not get away with dispersing ever more of its radioactively contaminating operations into previously nuclear free areas of Cumbria.
West Cumbria Friends of the Earth have written a succinct opposition letter which people can use as inspiration for their own letters opposing this laundry.
Email: Development Management Team, Allerdale Borough Council: firstname.lastname@example.org
West Cumbria Friends of the Earth Letter…
Dear Sir /Madam
ENERGY COAST LAUNDRY –
Retrospective Planning Application : FUL/2019/0187
I write on behalf of West Cumbria & North Lakes Friends of the Earth to object to this planning application on the following grounds:
- The Energy Coast Laundry has evidently been operating in breach of planning and radioactive waste discharge legislation. Why are these operators allowed to continue when they have already shown contempt for the regulatory framework?
- This attempt to rectify matters is cursory and the appropriate consultees have not been notified about the consultation on it. Local people, agencies and institutions should have the right to examine these retrospective proposals and comment.
- The retrospective proposal contravenes the Minerals & Waste Local Plan Policy DC1 Traffic & Transport which requires proposals for minerals and waste developments to ‘minimise operational minerals & waste road miles where practicable’ and for proposals to have made assessments beforehand. Other options need to have been explored before proposing additional road miles.Why are these operations being carried out 16 miles away from Sellafield? Why can they not be done on-site?
- The range of radionuclides expected to be discharged from this facility is a complex mix including alpha-emitters, detectable only at very close quarters. We need to know what sampling and monitoring arrangements are in place both at Sellafield and on-site and how these will ensure any items with concentrations of radionuclides, including alpha particles, are picked up and removed from the process before they are discharged. The estimated doses provided by the Environment Agency do not cover such occasional – and dangerous – concentrations since they are averaged.
- The need for sustainable drainage systems is identified in S29 of the Allerdale Local Plan. The release of radioactive material through the sewage system, with the potential for both build-up and dispersion, cannot be regarded as sustainable.
- MLWP Policy DC6 deals with cumulative environmental impacts of minerals & waste developments, and requires that ‘cumulative impacts of minerals and waste development proposals will be assessed in the light of other land uses in the area’. What assessment has taken place in relation to the cumulative impact on the food outlets, play facilities and workspaces near the Laundry?
I trust you will consider these matters with great care. The fact that this facility has been allowed to operate outside the proper framework is nothing short of a disgrace.
Dr Ruth Balogh
West Cumbria & North Lakes Friends of the Earth
Local Government Ombudsman’s reply to Radiation Free Lakeland’s complaint – shocking!!!
29 August 2019
19 004 128
Allerdale Borough Council
The Ombudsman’s final decision
Summary: Ms X complains about a laundry service that has operated without planning permission. The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because a regularising planning application has been submitted which has not been determined yet.
- Ms X complains about a laundry service that has operated without planning permission.The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word ‘fault’ to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe it is unlikely we would find fault. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)How I considered this complaint
- I considered the complainant’s and Council’s comments. The complainant has been given the opportunity to comment before a final decision has been made.What I found
- Ms X says that a laundry has been operating without planning permission. She says that the nature of the items cleaned means that there is a danger to health and safety of nearby residents and users.
- The Council sought and obtained a planning application to regularise the use of the laundry and Ms X has objected. The planning application has yet to be determined.
- The planning enforcement process we expect is as follows. We expect councils to consider allegations and decide what, if any, investigation is necessary. If the council decides there is a breach of control, it must consider what harm is caused to the public before deciding how to react. Providing the council is aware of its powers and follows this process, it is free to make its own judgement on how or whether to act.
- Government guidance says formal enforcement action should be the last resort and councils are encouraged to resolve issues through negotiation and dialogue with developers. Councils are encouraged to seek regularising planning applications to determine whether or not planning permission would have been granted for the unauthorised use in any event.
- I am satisfied that the Council’s action in obtaining a regularising planning application is not fault. The Council will now make a decision on the planning application with the knowledge of objections by Ms X. If the planning application is refused, the Council can consider its enforcement powers.Final decision
- The Ombudsman will not investigate this complaint because there is no evidence of fault.Investigator’s decision on behalf of the Ombudsman