July 2005, a planning application was submitted by RWE Npower, to
OCC, seeking detailed Planning Permission to fill two of the last
remaining lakes in Radley. This followed from conditional planning
permission granted 23 years ago in 1982.On the 10th July 2005, the
application went out to consultation.and following pressure from
Save Radley Lakes, the Radley Parish Council and the Public the
deadline for objections was extended from the 10th August to the
30th August. This application was then put into abeyance just
before the application was due to be heard on the 17th October 2005.
faced with over seven hundred objections from the public and a significant
objection from the Environment Agency have decided to continue with
their plans but have modified them in the hope that the public can
be deceived into thinking that there is some merit in the new plans
over the old ones. Indeed, there has been a concession - not
to fill the smaller of the two lakes (which they don't own) and
to create some sort of wildlife centre (like the Sutton Courtenay
Reserve) which no doubt their partners in this, BBOWT, will be highly
delighted. However, Save Radley Lakes are not!
put in a brand new application,
which in the three weeks or so that we had been given to read it,
is a weighty application. It if full of facts and figures
which we have worked extremely hard to disseminate and to put forward
counter arguments. Our objections were to have to be received
by the 17th March 2006. However, Oxfordshire County Council have
agreed to an extension to the 13th April and our objection was eventually
lodged, with the proviso that further information would be forthcoming
and up to the date of the hearing, we could still table counter
Together, these are beautiful lakes. They are old (believed to be
more than 50 years old) and surrounded by mature woodland. They
and the surrounding area are a haven for wildlife including some
rare and protected species (reputedly otters, Greater Crested Newts,
and Water Voles) There are kingfishers grebe, orchids, grass snake,
frogs, spiders, dragonflies etc. . The lakes are used by lots
of birds both migrating and resident. There are huge carp in both
of the lakes.
smaller lake is interconnected with the larger one. If the
larger lake (Thrupp Lake) is drained, then the smaller one (The
Bullfield) will suffer and be damaged, possibly beyond recovery
for some of the species which inhabit the lake and the other wildlife
which rely on both lakes for their continued existence.
As an amenity, the aspects of both of these lakes are enjoyed by
many people including walkers, naturalists, fishermen, and cyclists
using the adjacent cycletrack. They have become an important
part of the landscape and their destruction should not be tolerated.
The lakes themselves are on the Thames floodplain and with the last
infilling been filled above above their original levels has meant
that a huge volume has already been removed from the floodplain
in this area. This coupled with a further sizeable area which
would be removed, would cause flooding upstream of Radley and also
downstream in Abingdon. We have already received reports that
dwellings along the Thames in Abingdon have experienced higher than
normal flood levels in the last flood in 2003. These residents
have just cause for concern and if this infilling is allowed to
be carried out countless homes and businesses will be under threat
of flood where previously they had not.
Didcot Power Station agreed in 1982 that they would recycle the
ash they produced. However, changes in the way in which the
ash has been classified by the Environment Agency has not helped
Didcot in their ability to recycle in recent years. The ash should
not be being treated as waste. It is a useful material in the building
industry. However, Didcot's record on recycling it is poor.
When it had the opportunity to recycle the ash it did not, because
it had the facility to fill Lakes A-D and had no need of the recycling
plant which the CEGB promised would be built. When they started
to run out of space in the Radley Complex the Environment Agency
had changed the rules about Fuel Ash and so the method of disposing
of the ash had to change. The policy of dumping and forgetting
is unsustainable and damaging the environment.
are going to ask why there was no mitigation included for the Area
H/I/J/P which has recently been filled completely with fuel ash.
There is no topsoil to restore this area, which is vast and because
of the construction methods used, the ash is contained in a clay
basin and will remain as a quicksand for years to come. NPower
propose using the same type of construction method in their latest
application. They have provided a mitigation plan (strangely
omitted from the last planning application). The line they
are trotting out that the land will be restored to an amenity is
impossible. Again, there is no topsoil for the area and how
on earth they expect to get things to grow on what is essentially
a huge area of drying concrete is beyond belief. They expect
the watching public to believe their version of events, when we
can see very clearly over the other side of the cycle-way what it
don't have to be a "swampy" to join in this protest.
Hundreds of people, young and old, of all political persuasions,
are horrified at the proposed destruction of a beautiful area of
natural habitat and want to stop this from happening. Join
the protest now.
is only a short distance from Radley and the original decision to
allow fuel ash to be dumped in Radley was made in the 1980's when
environmental issues were not uppermost in the minds of the Local
Authorities. Since that time, other Power Stations have discovered
the benefits of cleaning, recycling and exporting the PFA to countries
where there is a shortage of construction materials.
Didcot, however, has found it easier to do none of these, and instead
rely on planning consents granted in the last Century to dump this
untreated waste into the local environment.
Waste is mixed with water at Didcot and pumped over a pipeline and
the slurry deposited into the lakes which will have been prepared
with huge cost to the local wildlife and the environment.
Once the waste is deposited the water is run-off through a series
of settling ponds, and discharged out into the Thames. Particularly
in this time of water shortages, this is a waste of a resource.
Only a proportion of the water is given back to the Thames.
The rest stays in the basin like lagoons forming a quicksand like
substance, which will evaporate over a very long period of time,
and, of course, is topped up at intervals by rainfall. There
is a further issue about the disposal of ash as a slurry, contaminants
are washed out of the ash into the waste water, and discharged into
the Thames. What has been discharged and how much???
RWE Npower had not destroyed a bund at the Power Station, built
in the 1980's to house fuel ash for recycling, there would be no
need to fill the two remaining lakes. The bund originally
built and then demolished would hold what they are proposing to
dump in Radley. Currently, they have piled up a huge amount
of ash. Based on the information in their planning application,
there should only be 60,000 tonnes of the stuff - if we were
to believe their figures - however, from the output of electricity
that they recently boasted, we have calculated that there are nearer
200,000 tonnes of ash waiting to be disposed of at Didcot,
is a further issue of the amount of water required to convert the
ash to slurry. There is a severe water shortage in the South
East and their continued operation of this process means several
million gallons of water will be used and when discharged will be
contaminated with heavy metals.