A Lincolnshire estate agent has warned that plans for a radioactive waste storage facility in Theddlethorpe are causing people to reconsider buying houses in the area, and has urged for the proposals to be scrapped.
News of the plans came in late July, when Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) confirmed it was in “early discussions” with Lincolnshire County Council about using the former ConocoPhillips Gas Terminal as a nuclear waste underground disposal facility.
RWM has promised to start a conversation with the community about the proposals, in order to hear and understand people’s views on the matter, and LCC has stressed that no decision will be made without public backing.
The Theddlethorpe community organised a campaign meeting in opposition to the radioactive waste storage plans, with around 100 people gathering at Mablethorpe Sherwood Playing Fields to protest it.
Now, an estate agent in the area is suggesting that potential buyers are being put off moving to Theddlethorpe because of the possibility that the nuclear waste storage plans could go ahead.
Cindy Dykes, director at Lovelle estate agents, told The Lincolnite that “at least” 60% of the clients they contacted about housing in the area have said they will no longer be moving to Theddlethorpe as a result of the plans.
She said: “Even as an agent we are trying to settle newcomers to the towns and villages by saying it has not been passed yet — we were as much in shock as all the other local people on how this has been dropped on us.
“Even if this was to go ahead it would take years for anything to happen, but we have seen people saying that they had held off marketing their properties because of COVID-19, and now because of this they are not looking at selling; it is having a knock on effect on the local housing market.”
Cindy has called on the council and RWM to shelve the plans in the interest of the future of the town, especially given the difficulties of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Besides the local business already suffering because of the lasting effects of the pandemic, what impact will this also have on the tourist wanting to come to the coast having that smack bang on the door step?
“Would you want your children on a lovely sandy beach knowing that a nuclear storage facility is less than a mile away and underground? – I know I wouldn’t.”
“COVID was worrying enough, but this is now very worrying, we could end up being the forgotten seaside town because of the nuclear storage facility – the local farmers and businesses have suffered enough already in the last two years without having this to deal with as well.”
Acting, siting and engagement director at RWM, Steve Reece, said: “With any potential sites, RWM will undertake work with local people during the sitting process to assess whether there is likely to be any impact locally and consider whether a property support scheme would be appropriate.
“We’re listening. We would like to engage with the local community to hear their thoughts and views. This sitting process is all about discussion, working in partnership with communities and fact-finding before making any decisions.”
The County Council Leader Martin Hill promised a binding local referendum on the plans in the future.