April 13, 2023 6.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

Nuclear storage dump opponents sweep into Theddlethorpe parish council

Residents have organised against storage plans

Candidates opposing a nuclear storage dump have surged to power in Theddlethorpe in a demonstration of local opposition.

Eight of the ten seats on two Theddlethorpe Parish Councils – St Helen’s and All Saints – have been filled uncontested by people against to Nuclear Waste Service’s plans for a Geological Disposal Facility in the village.

Nearby residents were in uproar after it was announced last year that the Theddlethorpe Gas Terminal could become the entry point for a nuclear storage facility to dispose of around 10% of the UK’s nuclear waste.

The new councillors, who will automatically become councillors after the May 4 local elections, are all part of Theddlethorpe Residents Association.

Members Brian Swift and Andrew Spink formed it after their application to join the parish councils were rejected in 2021.

Mr Swift said: “We were both turned down, but shortly after this we got together with a few neighbours and formed the Theddlethorpe Residents Association with the aim to give the parish a collective voice and to counter the PC’s negative stance.”

Residents fear the plans will have a negative impact on the local area and tourism. | Image: Supplied

Since its inception, the residents association has garnered more than 120 members and holds regular events.

However, Mr Swift said the anti-GDF sentiment of the members would not mean other views would be unwelcome.

“Despite the fact that the majority of the councillors are now anti-GDF ,we are keen to stress that all points of view are welcome. Our priorities are to carry out the parish council’s functions to the best of our ability and to do our utmost to see that the village thrives and continues to be the friendly, united place we all call home,” he said.

The group are hoping several other anti-GDF election candidates will also take seats elsewhere in East Lindsey in May.

At a district level, the Withern and Theddlethorpe seats are being contested by Independent Travis Hesketh, Labour candidate Steve Holland and incumbent Conservative candidate Sandra Harrison.

There has been strong reaction to the nuclear storage plans. | Photos: Supplied

The Theddlethorpe wards have a combined total of 11 seats, meaning one will still remain unfilled and will be available for co-option after the May elections.

According to the Lincolnshire Parish Councils’ website, prior to the uncontested wins, six of the 11 seats were vacant, including the chairman and vice chairman roles.

The meetings for February and March were both cancelled due to insufficient members.

Nuclear Waste Services is investigating the Lincolnshire site along with three others in Copeland and Cumbria for potential future use.

If the GDF were built, the surface site itself would be around one square km, with the rest of the facility set 1,000 metres underground and 5-10km out to sea. It would include a mix of engineered and natural barriers between 200-1,000 metres underground.

Supporters have said the facility would create more than 4,000 jobs in the local area and would bring investment and training to the area.

However, opponents fear the health and tourism impacts of the facility and the damage to the reputation of the East Coast will outweigh any benefits it brings.

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