16 April 2024

Nuclear waste talks are over – ‘for good’

The Government has confirmed that nuclear waste cannot come to a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in South Holderness.

It comes after Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart wrote to nuclear minister Andrew Bowie to request confirmation that Nuclear Waste Services would permanently withdraw from the region.

In response, Mr Bowie stated that NWS, a government agency, would fully respect East Riding councillors’ decision last week to end discussions on the GDF.

He wrote: “Following the East Riding Council motion on February 21, I can confirm that Nuclear Waste Services, the developer of the GDF, will fully respect the council’s decision to withdraw from the GDF siting process and will now take the necessary steps to wind down the South Holderness working group.

“I can also confirm that Nuclear Waste Services will not be seeking to re-engage South Holderness in the GDF siting process.”

Mr Stuart, who is also the energy minister, had thrown his support behind a motion brought by South East Holderness councillors Sean McMaster and Lyn Healing to force the council to withdraw from discussions.

Mr Stuart said: “Many people in Holderness didn’t want nuclear waste to come to the place they call home, and the councillors stopped it.

“I always want to see our communities strengthened, and Cllrs Sean McMaster and Lyn Healing did just that through their motion to have the council withdraw from discussions with Nuclear Waste Services.

“I’m delighted that the government minister responsible has confirmed that Nuclear Waste Services will now withdraw from Holderness, and leave us alone. For good.”

Meanwhile, campaigners against the GDF have said they are now looking forward to the future with positivity amid claims from some that the region may have lost out on investment.

South East Holderness councillor Claire Holmes, the only one to vote against the motion, said: “The decision to reject the conversation will not only send a clear message to those offering the GDF investment but to any other organisations thinking of investing in our area, and it isn’t welcoming.”

However, Lynn Massey-Davis of South Holderness GDF Action said: “Contrary to how it may be painted, I don’t believe that South Holderness needs to stay as it is, it needs to grow and prosper – but in the right way.”