A DECISION on whether radioactive waste can be dumped in Teesside will now not be made until the end of the year.

Augean Plc has applied for a low level radioactive waste permit at its Port Clarence site, between Stockton and Billingham.

The plans have been on the cards since 2019.

However, the Environment Agency, which is considering the permit application, is still awaiting information from Augean.

The Environment Agency confirmed a deadline for information had been extended.

A spokeswoman for the agency said it was was currently awaiting for information from the applicant and it hoped to make a decision by the end of the year.

A spokesman for Augean said: “We are continuing to assist the Environment Agency by responding to any technical matters raised by them throughout the determination process."

Alex Cunningham, MP for Stockton North, said he was angry that residents living nearby would not have an answer before the end of the year.

He said: "Residents have had this application hanging over them for almost three years now.

"Augean needs to get its act together and explain why they’ve needed eighteen months to provide information to the Environment Agency.

“I want to know why there has been such a hold up from Augean. Surely they have it or they don’t.

“Nevertheless, I remain unconvinced that the proposal is in the best interests of my constituents, many of whom are personally opposed to it. Teesside is again being targeted as a dumping ground, not only for waste from the immediate area but from further afield and potentially abroad too.

“This is not appropriate, and it is why I oppose this application.”

More than 2,000 objections were lodged with the Environment Agency during a four-monthpublic consultation at the end of 2019.

When the results of that consultation were published in October 2020, a decision was expected by January 2021.

Among the thousands of comments made included ones concerned about the risk to the environment and health of people living in the area, as well as setting a precedent to allow further types of hazardous and radioactive wastes to be disposed of in the area.

Members of the public, as well members of Stockton on Tees Borough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council commented on the socioeconomic impact and the general impact on the area, as well as the potential impact on regeneration plans.

The plans were also criticised by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, who said they were against the interests of those living in surrounding areas.

Mr Houchen said: "Plans to dump radioactive waste at Augean’s facility in Port Clarence are totally unacceptable. This site is just two miles from Middlesbrough town centre and granting their radioactive waste license would be against the interests of local people living in Billingham, Middlesbrough and the wider region."

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.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Teesside Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054