Government plans to silence local people in nuclear proposals

November 1, 2006 9:00 AM

David Howarth, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Energy, has today criticised Government proposals to restrict local debate in planning inquiries for new nuclear power stations.

In a consultation which closed today the Government outlined proposals to limit the topics of discussion in local planning inquiries for new nuclear build.

The Government plans to decide on strategic issues relating to nuclear power at national level and therefore local planning inquiries should not consider questions like "is nuclear power safe" or whether there is a need for nuclear power. Although the Planning Inspector can revisit these issues if he or she feels it necessary, local people will not be able to give oral evidence on these matters.

Mr. Howarth commented:

David Howarth MP"Although the planning system for all energy projects can be improved, what the Government is planning to do for nuclear power is to tear up the entire system. There has to be a way for erroneous judgments that are made by ministers or others can be challenged."

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