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Planning advice is ignored over building near nuclear sites via The guardian

Concern grows as Lydd airport, near Dungeness, is given the green light for expansion despite warnings

Ministers have chosen to ignore warnings that residential and commercial property should not be built too close to the UK’s nuclear plants.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the government rejected advice from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), regarding the lessons to be learned following Japan’s Fukushima disaster.

The regulator recommended restricting development near nuclear plants, advice that was overridden last week when the government approved the expansion of Lydd airport in Kent, a couple of miles from Dungeness nuclear power station.

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Louise Barton, of Lydd Airport Action Group, described the failure to rein in development near nuclear facilities as “reprehensible”. She said: “The recommendation was made to save lives. What right has Mr Pickles to sacrifice public safety for the sake of growth?”

A department spokeswoman said the letter of October 2011 had raised issues that had been addressed. “For the first time the framework brings the requirements for local councils to work with the Office for Nuclear Regulation into one place,” she said. “This ensures that the presence of a nuclear installation is taken into account in all planning policy decisions.”

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