WEST BERKS PLANNERS GIVE NOD TO NEW NUKE PLANT
PEACE CAMPAIGNERS TO BLOCKADE A.W.E. ON MONDAY
WEST Berkshire Council has voted not to object to plans for a massive
extension to the Atomic weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston despite
mounting public pressure and calls for a public inquiry.
The decision has been condemned by Euro-MP Caroline Lucas, who said after
the meeting: “The proposals are a subversion of local democracy, as local
planners have no real powers to ‘reject’ them out of hand.
“But this week the council has let down local people badly, by not using
what limited voice it has to reflect the scale of residents’ opposition to
the plans and make vocal objections to the size and nature of the planned
On Wednesday the West Berkshire Eastern Area Planning Committee voted seven
to one in favour of the plans. The decision marks the beginning of
campaigners’ next phase: blocking the builders with a peaceful blockade of
Activists under the campaign banner of ‘Block the Builders’ will try to
prevent construction of the Orion laser facility by peacefully obstructing
construction traffic trying to enter or leave the site.
Dr Lucas, who is Green Party MEP for South-East England, co-president of the
European Parliament’s cross-party Peace Initiatives group and a member of
CND’s national council, said she hoped the blockade would succeed.
“These plans have already ridden roughshod over local democracy – and if
construction goes ahead the new Orion laser facility will threaten
international law and world peace,” she said.
“The planned nuclear factory represents a major local environmental and
health risk, and I have called on the Government to launch an immediate
public inquiry into the plans, to hear the high number of public objections
as well as legal and political arguments against the development.
“Until it does however we have no choice but to physically block the
builders – although I am unable to join them on Monday, I wish everyone
there every success and I hope they are able to raise the public profile of
the issue, prompt a public inquiry, and prevent the construction of a new
nuclear weapons factory in Berkshire.”