A Community Partnership has formed in Theddlethorpe to consider whether a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) could be safely located and built deep underground beyond the coastline and provide significant economic and other benefits to the area and its residents.
The Theddlethorpe GDF Community Partnership will be a larger, longer-term group of local people and organisations that will take over from the Working Group to consider the possibilities of the area hosting a GDF in more detail.
This move to the next stage of the process follows the identification of the Search Area for further consideration and exploration and the Working Group’s recent decision to form a Partnership and begin recruiting members.
The Community Partnership will focus on a Search Area covering the two electoral wards of Withern & Theddlethorpe, and Mablethorpe. The former Theddlethorpe gas terminal will continue to be the area of focus for a possible surface reception facility, with planned underground facilities located in the deep rock layers beyond the coastline.
Jon Collins was asked by the Working Group to be the interim Chair of the Community Partnership. In this role, he will be helping the Partnership establish itself through recruiting local members and developing a plan of work for the months ahead.
He explained, “Community Partnership is an exciting new phase of work, that will take place over a number of years, where all aspects of the proposal to develop a GDF in the area can be explored and discussed.”
“To do this, the Partnership needs to reflect the community, and this is the chance for people to get involved, share their views and work alongside others looking at what this could mean for the area. The process of recruiting new members has begun, to both the Partnership itself and to the stakeholder forums planned in future, so that we can build wider public involvement and debate.”
“Forming the Partnership also means the community can start to benefit from £1m of Community Investment Funding each year, and we will be encouraging and supporting applications from local people and groups. So, if you want to help make sure that people living in the area have all the information and can explore the possibilities further, now is the time and here is the chance for you to volunteer.”
A main role of the newly established Community Partnership is to make sure people understand what geological disposal is and have their questions answered.
Alongside the formation of the Partnership, we have been out and about this week and will be in the weeks to come, continuing the conversations with local people in the Search Area. We will be providing people with the opportunity to find out more about a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) and what it could mean for the community.
Engagement Manager, Kate Atha said, “Our team have been back out on the road and available to chat to anyone that wants more information. We were supported again by specialists from NWS, who are keen to answer questions on those key areas where there has been huge interest already, about geology, siting factors and engineering.”
“We have travelled around and parked up at various venues, to allow people to come along and meet us. This is another opportunity for you to ask questions, find out more and add your voice to the discussions as things move forward.”
For details of where you can see the team, please see our Get Involved page.
The process of finding a site is likely to take many years and other areas of England, are also being considered. The GDF, wherever it is eventually built, is a multi-billion-pound infrastructure project of national importance.
It cannot be built without a suitable site or a willing community, and it is important for people to understand what a GDF could mean for the area, to be able to make informed decisions, and take the opportunity to have their say and help shape a future vision for their area, regardless of whether a GDF is eventually built.