Office for Nuclear Regulation

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Planning consent for Nuclear power Stations

Date released
19 February 2020
Request number
Release of information under
Freedom of Information Act 2000

Information requested

I attach a list of nuclear power stations for which I am seeking details of any public enquiries held and planning consents granted. I have managed to track down details of a number of these and the dates and duration of the enquiries are included.

I'm currently writing a doctoral thesis on the Planning Act 2008 and am looking for details of how planning permissions for the UK nuclear power stations were granted. There are the obvious ones - Sizewell B and Hinkley C - but I've found that information about most of the early ones is extremely difficult to locate. I gather that some of the early plants received consent from the relevant minister without the benefit of a Public Inquiry.

I'm looking for the date of the Inquiry (if one was held), its duration and the date on which consent was formalised (whether after a PI or not).

Information released

I confirm that under Section 1 of the FOIA, in relation to the following nuclear reactors sites, we do not hold the information related to your request:

We conducted a preliminary search on our database of our historical paper files using the search criteria “public inquiry + site name” and “planning consent + site name”. The site names were taken from the list you provided in your clarified request.

In relation to Sizewell A and Windscale, our database shows that we had previously held a file each for Sizewell A and Windscale. However, these records were destroyed in line with our retention policy.
In relation to Torness, we found the following relevant details:

The Scottish Secretary of State gave consent on 24 May 1978 to the application dated 19 December 1973 by the South Scotland Electricity Board under section 2 of the Electric Lighting Act 1909 to construct an Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) nuclear power station at Torness, East Lothian.

In our previous response of 17 January 2020, I confirmed that we do not hold the information in your request concerning Hunterston, Heysham, Winfrith or Caithness.

You may wish to search for relevant records produced by the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) as they initially dealt with nuclear sites early in their construction. These can be found on the National Archives website.

You may also wish to contact the Planning and Architecture Division of the Scottish Government or the Scottish Secretary of State for information relating to the Scottish nuclear sites.

Exemptions applied

Section 1

PIT (Public Interest Test) if applicable