Contrary to the impression given in your quote from me in the article “The path to power” (18 January, page 28), the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and I are very clear about our policy on nuclear power.
We are not ideologically opposed to new nuclear power stations, but we do not believe that they should be seen as a first option for energy policy. Policy should focus on energy efficiency and demand reduction, local generation and renewables (although with the latter sited so as not to damage beautiful landscapes). We feel, in common with other environmental groups, that there are still important unanswered questions about the disposal of nuclear waste and the economics of new nuclear power stations.
The debate around future sources of energy is complicated and contentious. What is of critical importance is that any schemes are properly considered through the planning system, so all factors, including the protection of the environment, can be taken into account. The government’s planning bill threatens this process.
Ben Stafford, head of campaigns, CPRE