Larger emergency planning zone for AWE Burghfield
If you live in Northern Swallowfield, Spencers Wood, Three Mile Cross, and Grazeley you will have received a communication from West Berkshire Council about the emergency planning zone around AWE Burghfield within West Berkshire Council’s boundary.
Although there has been no change in activities at AWE Burghfield, legislation has required a review of the emergency planning for this site and, as a result of the review, the emergency plan for the facility must now cover a larger area. This extended area - known as the Detailed Emergency Planning Zone (DEPZ) - now covers some homes and businesses in Northern Swallowfield, Spencers Wood, Three Mile Cross and Grazeley not previously included.
West Berkshire is responsible for this emergency plan (in collaboration with partners) and for notifying residents about it, including those living in the Wokingham Borough. This is why West Berkshire Council is sending an information booklet to all households and businesses.
This is an odd situation because there’s been no change in the actual risk of an incident at AWE Burghfield – that remains incredibly low – nor has there been any change in what AWE Burghfield does.
There now has to be an emergency plan in place for a bigger area meaning some of our residents are in this DEPZ for the first time. It’s West Berkshire’s responsibility to produce the plan and, most importantly, to make sure all residents living in the DEPZ know about it and have the information they need to understand there’s been no change in the risk.
But, given the way Covid-19 is overwhelming our lives at the moment, I want to make doubly sure our residents are aware of this important message.