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  1. ITV Report

Row brewing over new Mirehouse development

Residents from Whitehaven are holding a public meeting today to raise concerns over plans to build accommodation for 4000 workers at Mirehouse.

Some locals have issued complaints about letters they've received from TerraQuest, on behalf of NuGen.

The company's proposing to build accommodation and railway station to house workers for the new nuclear plant at Moorside, near Sellafield.

However, some residents say they've been issued letters which give the impression they'll be bought out of their homes without choice.

"The letter was worded in a terrible manner that most would and have found difficult to read. As well as that it's the first the majority of people even knew about the extent of the project.

"The words compulsory purchase order and Crichel down rules are in small print on a form that we were requested to fill out and return within 15 days.

" All I want is proper answers for my fellow residents in Mirehouse."

– Claire Corkhill, Mirehouse resident

NuGen has issued a letter of apology to the community, saying they'd like to apologise for any confusion caused.

"The letter was not clear and used overly-technical and officious language, which NuGen recognises has caused confusion, anxiety and worry to local people. The letter did not give enough clear explanation about NuGen's need to collect information on local land and property ownership, and was not sensitive to the way in which the letter might have been received.

"NuGen is required to collect this information, under planning rules, from anyone who has an involvement in property which could be affected by the development. However, many people who received this letter believed that it indicated that NuGen would compulsorily purchase their property. In fact, the vast majority of people who have been contacted as part of this request for information will not be affected in this way.

"Recipients of the letter were contacted on the basis that they will be potentially affected, to some degree by the construction of Moorside Nuclear Power Station; NuGen had intended to ensure that these important stakeholders were fully consulted.

"NuGen will be issuing a letter clarifying the situation to all people who received the original letter, and will be arranging drop-in sessions where its planning team will be on hand to answer any questions or provide further information.

"Additionally, NuGen's leadership team will be holding meetings in April with members of the public in Egremont and Beckermet ahead of the second stage of public consultation, which is due to start on 14th May. The company welcomes the opportunity to engage with the community on this or any other issue."

– NuGen response