East Riding pulls out of nuclear waste siting talks

East Riding councillors have today voted to withdraw from conversations about a nuclear geological disposal facility (GDF) being built in South Holderness.

At Wednesday’s full council meeting, councillors voted 53-1 in favour of a motion brought by Councillor Sean McMaster, which called on the council to withdraw from the siting process for the facility.

Nuclear Waste Services (NWS), a division of The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, is currently seeking a suitable site for a GDF for the UK’s legacy of radioactive waste.

Last month, East Riding of Yorkshire Council accepted an invitation from NWS to join the South Holderness GDF Working Group, which was set up to begin conversations with the local community about whether a GDF would be right for the area.

Bringing his motion to full council this afternoon, Cllr McMaster, ward councillor for South East Holderness, said there had been an “overwhelming response” from the community since the formation of the Working Group, and called on the council to use its right of withdrawal immediately.

Councillor Anne Handley, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The purpose of the Working Group was always to open a conversation with the community about whether a GDF would be right for the South Holderness area. The council and NWS were clear about that from the very start.

“In the past few weeks, many people within the community have made it clear that they find this idea unpalatable and do not want South Holderness to be part of the conversation. Many other people have attended the drop-in events curious to find out more about the long-term benefits a GDF could bring to its host community.

“Councillors have today considered all these views and decided that it is right to withdraw from this process.”