Policy SPS8 - Nuclear Installations – Aldermaston and Burghfield

Open22 Jan, 2024, 10:00am - 4 Mar, 2024, 11:59pm

Policy SPS8:  Nuclear Installations – Aldermaston and Burghfield

The council requires development in the land use planning consultation zones surrounding (1) AWE Aldermaston and (2) AWE Burghfield to be managed in the interests of public safety.

Development will only be permitted where the Off Site Nuclear Emergency Plan can accommodate the needs of the population in the event of an emergency. All development proposals within all consultation zones that trigger consultation with the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s (ONR) Directorate will be considered in conjunction with the ONR, who will have regard to:

  1. The proposed use;
  2. The scale of development proposed;
  3. The location of the development; and
  4. The impact of the development on the functioning of the emergency plan through appropriate consultation with the multi agencies who have duties under The Radiation Emergency Preparedness and Public Information Regulations (REPPIR).
6.187 There are two licensed nuclear installations located in close proximity to the border of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s administrative boundary; (1) the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) Aldermaston and (2) AWE Burghfield which are both situated within West Berkshire. The sites are operated by AWE plc on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. The regulator for these sites is the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR).There are hazards associated with the authorised use of these sites including conventional chemicals, explosives and radiation sources.
6.188 The NPPF outlines how Local Planning Authorities should consult the appropriate bodies when considering applications for the siting of, or changes to, major hazard sites, installations or pipelines, or for development around them. National Planning Practice Guide provides further general advice about the need for consultation regarding proposed developments in the vicinity of licensed nuclear installations. Consultation distances are applied around the sites to ensure any consequences of future development to public safety or major accident are mitigated,
6.189 The relevant consultation zones are shown in Figure 6.18 and, in these zones, the Local Planning Authority should consult ONR in specified circumstances. The ONR is consulted on any planning application within the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) around each site and also proposed developments within the Outer Consultation Zone (OCZ) which meet their consultation criteria and therefore have the potential to affect the viability, operability or extendability of the off-site emergency plan.  The OCZ is concerned with information and communication to a wider community and whilst it provides a lower level of requirement for planning, in that it is not required to be accommodated in the Off-Site Emergency Plan, it covers considerations for rare but potentially more serious events.
6.190 The consultation thresholds and zones are agreed locally between the council and the ONR and are kept under review. Consultation zones may change over the plan period, as may the ONR's advice on particular proposals, in light of new information. Any changes will be updated and available to view on the council’s website at the earliest opportunity. For details on the zones is provided below.

Figure 6.17: Development within the Land Use Planning Consultation Zones: ONR

Zone

Consultation criteria

DEPZ

Any new development, re-use or re-classification of an existing development that could lead to an increase in residential or non-residential populations thus impacting on the off-site emergency plan.

Any new development, re-use or re-classification of an existing development that could pose an external hazard to the site.

Any re-use or re-classification of an existing development that could introduce vulnerable groups to the DEPZ.

OCZ

Any new residential development of 200 dwellings or greater.

Any re-use or re-classification of an existing development that will lead to a material increase in the size of an existing development (greater than 500 persons).

Any new non-residential development that could introduce vulnerable groups to the OCZ.

Any new development, re-use or re-classification of an existing development that could pose an external hazard to the site.

6.191 Applicants considering new development within these consultation zones are strongly encouraged to enter into discussions with the council to establish at an early stage whether there are likely to be any off-site emergency plan implications with regards the proposed development.
6.192 The consultation zones for the AWE installations cross over into neighbouring councils: West Berkshire District, Reading Borough and Wokingham Borough Council. Given the potential cumulative effects of any population increase surrounding the installations, it will be necessary to monitor committed and future development proposals in partnership with neighbouring councils, the multi agencies who have duties under REPPIR and the ONR.
6.193 The ONR’s decision whether to advise against a particular development will be based on the extent to which the Off Site Emergency Plan can accommodate the additional population.

Figure 6.18: DEPZ and consultation zones associated with Atomic Weapons Establishment

Map - DEPZ and consultation zones associated with Atomic Weapons Establishment

Click to enlarge map

 

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