Permanent housing plan for Moorside workers

Gary Shuttleworth, NuGen's corporate affairs director
Gary Shuttleworth, NuGen's corporate affairs director
17 March 2017 3:12PM

Permanent housing rather than temporary camps are in the pipeline for thousands of workers set to build West Cumbria's Moorside power station, a nuclear chief has revealed.

Gary Shuttleworth, the corporate affairs director with Moorside's developer NuGen, told a conference this week that "creating sustainable legacy solutions" are its priority for the multi-billion-pound development planned for land next to Sellafield and its associated housing and transport links.

The firm's previously-revealed proposals for temporary student-style worker villages, earmarked for Mirehouse, Corkickle and Egremont, have been criticised in some quarters.

Giving an update on NuGen's current accommodation plans, Mr Shuttleworth said: "Using and refurbishing social housing stock and new-build developments are integral to our plans; they could be converted from worker housing to family homes after their use.

"In this sense, people would be integrated into the community. Having temporary accommodation would miss the opportunity of integration.

"We do not want a sphere that sits outside the community. Working with social landlords and private developers, we want instead to enhance the sense of pride in the community, and communities to grow in a cohesive way."

Copeland mayor Mike Starkie has previously pressed NuGen to consider a permanent housing solution for the 4,000 workers expected to move into the area during Moorside’s construction phase.

He said: "I have emphasised to NuGen from the very start that I want to see permanent accommodation – not temporary. I do not want shanty towns and nor, I am sure, do our residents.

"What we do want is to see clear plans, good quality buildings and a lasting legacy for future generations.”

Mr Shuttleworth was speaking at the annual New Nuclear Local Authorities Group (NNLAG) Conference, hosted this year by Copeland Council and held at Summergrove Halls.

Chaired by Suffolk Coastal District Council's deputy leader Geoff Holdcroft, it involved representatives from 15 local authorities across the UK that are affected by the nuclear industry gathering to share knowledge and best practice.

Mr Shuttleworth added that NuGen expects that design acceptance of the AP1000 reactor planned for Moorside will be granted "within a couple of weeks".

The consortium has previously stated it plans to lodge a planning application this year ahead of construction starting in 2020 and all three reactors on stream by 2026. However, recent speculation over Toshiba's involvement in the consortium has raised some doubts about the project's financing.

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Jayne   Laine , Whitehaven Wednesday, 05 April, 2017 at 6:56AM
It would be hoped that these stakeholders have looked into the legals regarding Clause 107 of the Housing and Planning Bill. The maximum amount of houses that could be built as part of this clause is 500. 500 permanent dwellings is better than non but only in extraordinary circumstances. At worst, they can house 500 of the external workforce and at best, they could house 2000 (based on 4 workers sharing a house). What about the other 4,000 of this ‘external’ workforce that needs housed? I would have thought it would be very unlikely for the Secretary of State to consent to more than 500 permanent dwellings for a single nationally significant infrastructure project. I would however be supportive of Nugen using and converting existing housing stock, however they would need to liaise with Home group and not Copeland Borough Council BUT NOT as our main legacy. The sites that have been chosen again I am of the opinion that they would not support temporary OR permanent housing due to ecological sites, designated heritage assets, locations at risk of flooding, erosion and green belt not to mention congestion on our roads. Of course they will have their own cars and will take their money out of our county at weekends!!!!!!!! Are these permanent houses to be for rent from the local authority in 20 years time? Will they be left and passed onto a housing association so that it is affordable housing for the young couples of the area to give them a home of their own? Will they be built to a very high standard and sold to the highest bidder out of reach of the younger generations? I still believe the adverse impact of the housing outweighs the benefits of the development as a whole as offering ‘housing’ as a legacy that ‘Joe Public’ cannot touch or use for 20 years is not helping the situation we find ourselves in today. We have a downgraded health service, strained emergency service, police, ambulance, fire teams, poor roads and infrastructure, dilapidated towns and villages. Copeland Borough Council should be imposing Community Infrastructure levies for amenities and infrastructure improvements NOW, not just in 20 years time. Give Mirehouse a ‘Keswick spa’ type facility NOW, give Cleator Moor an outdoor ski-slope NOW, give Millom an Olympic sized swimming pool NOW, give Egremont a bowling alley and cinema complex NOW, give Whitehaven Town Centre an undercover shopping arcade on King Street NOW. Put their money where their mouths are NOW! Offer a promise that 60% of this community will be employed NOW! These are Legacies that the people want for future and immediate generations! A better Trainline and some affordable housing should be standard as part of CBCs Local Plan and the public are being short changed if we think that this is what we should accept for having more nuclear on our doorstep. Where changes are made to a development consent order, then it is likely that a fresh application for development consent will be required rather than constituting a change to the existing DCO. Therefore, Nugen may have to go right back to the drawing board. I would welcome this and would hope that the sites chosen for their housing are more sensible for the people that currently live here. It’s is ‘better’ news to cover up bad news it seems as Toshiba is now left holding the baby. Nugen can assure until the cows come home this entire project is in limbo so no one can really make any decisions until the uncertainty disappears.
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Rab   A , Whitehaven Thursday, 16 March, 2017 at 12:36PM
Why are we the residents of this area expected to believe this is a good idea. Once these contractors have left who are the people that will occupy these flats and who will maintain them. When did it suddenly become ok to build on green belt land and if you have to then why not put them at the other end of the valley where our mayor lives.
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