AN MP has backed residents concerned that plans to dispose of low-level radioactive waste at a landfill site will turn Teesside into a dumping ground.

Augean plc made an application to dump the waste at Port Clarence landfill site, between Stockton and Billingham, last year.

An Environment Agency consultation closed on Friday after being extended because of December's general election.

Responding to the consultation, Alex Cunningham, MP for Stockton North, said: "I am not convinced the proposal is in the best interests of my constituents, many of whom are personally opposed to it.

"I support them in their opposition. There are a number of specific points I will make in this submission but would start with a couple of general points that Teesside is again being targeted as a dumping ground, not only for waste from the immediate area but from further afield and potential abroad too."

Port Clarence has two permitted landfills, with one accepting hazardous waste and the other non hazardous waste. Both are currently authorised by Environmental Permits.

This new application is to allow the disposal of low level radioactive waste in both landfills.

Augean has said previously the firm has "extensive" experience of safely handling low-level radioactive waste at its landfill site in Northamptonshire, and the current operation of the Port Clarence site as a "safe, secure, sustainable and well-regulated site for the disposal and treatment of hazardous wastes" means it is suitable for similar materials.

Mr Cunningham added: "I am also extremely concerned that the granting of this particular permit will lead to further applications, not just for the dumping of other wastes, but also other types of radioactive waste such as medium level as was once proposed for disposal in the former anhydrite mine which stretches under thousands of homes in Billingham.

"The community were opposed to that then and remain so."

The Environment Agency will decide whether to grant the application.