Friends of the Lake District is now a member of the South Copeland Community Partnership (SCCP). Government policy on nuclear waste disposal states that local people have to make the decision as to whether or not they want a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in their area and to enable this, a community partnership is set up. The South Copeland Community Partnership’s role is to ensure that the community has all of the relevant information that they need about the process in order to make a decision when the question is put to the people in the area. Friends of the Lake District applied to join when the SCCP put out a call for people with a background in environmental issues to take part in the process. 

We haven’t joined SCCP because Friends of the Lake District think that South Copeland is the right place to build a GDF, but because we are concerned about the landscape impact and environmental issues surrounding the locating of a GDF so close to the boundary of a nationally protected landscape.  There are a lot of implications for the environment that would come with any major infrastructure project in this small, remote and geographically constrained area.  This would include the impact of upgrading transport links through the national park or across the Duddon Estuary Special Area of Conservation, removal of spoil, impact of boreholes, construction and lighting on the Lake District and protected wildlife site and the impact of any final building and its operation on the environment. We think that there needs to be a voice advocating for the environment of the local area within the Community Partnership and we are offering our expertise in order that these important issues are not neglected during the process.