A new building to treat radioactive waste and discharge it into the Gareloch has been given planning permission – despite pleas by MSPs for the decision to be delayed.
The Ministry of Defence says the new nuclear support hub would be more efficient than current buildings at HM Naval Base Clyde and would reduce the amount of nuclear waste released by two current facilities which treat waste from nuclear-powered submarines.
But more than 700 people objected to the plan, while SNP MSPs Mike Russell and Stuart McMillan asked a meeting today to be postponed.
Despite this, Argyll and Bute councillors today (Wednesday) followed their officials’ recommendation and approved the plan – crucially, environment agency SEPA had not objected, saying the waste already discharged fell within agreed limits, and the new building would reduce this further.
Mr Russell, whose Argyll and Bute constituency covers most of the council area but not the Helensburgh and Lomond district which includes Faslane, and Mr McMillan, a regional or list MSP for the West of Scotland had said that ‘further development’ at Faslane was ‘unacceptable’ and objectors had not been given enough notification of the meeting.
Mr Russell said: “Given that this development could have significant implications for people in Argyll and Bute, it is important that the planning application receives detailed scrutiny from both the council and local residents.”
First revealed here, details of the application were published on the council website in early November; letters were sent to objectors were sent out on January 14.
Mr McMillan added that constituents had contacted him, angry and frustrated by a ‘lack of transparency’ at the council.
The two-storey building, 45 metres long and 31 metres wide, will be on a concrete podium with an access ramp constructed over the water at Faslane.
The council’s planning, protective services and licensing committee approved the plan, subject to a number of conditions – for details of these, see this PDF file: 02508-ROH NSH Faslane