Berkshire

Council approves plans for atomic research facility

Councillors have approved controversial plans to build a multimillion-pound research facility at Berkshire's atomic weapons site.

The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), in Aldermaston, maintains warheads for Trident, the UK's nuclear deterrent.

The planning application is to build a replacement hydrodynamics research facility which would be constructed over five years.

West Berkshire Council received 1,331 objection letters against approval.

A small protest was held outside the meeting on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the BBC reported that fire support teams were initially not allowed through the gates of the plant during a fire in August.

AWE said it followed safety procedures and took "extremely prompt" action.

Berkshire Fire Service has said access to the site is a not as "smooth" as it would like.

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