Fuel tank fears mount


- Credit: Archant

RESIDENTS in Portishead are appealing for hazardous waste tanks to be moved further away from their homes.

Eight tanks at the Redcliffe Bay depot are currently used to pump aviation fuel to airports around the country.

Two additional tanks which are being used to hold petroleum waste from the site do not have planning consent for this purpose and permission is currently being sought from North Somerset Council by the Oil and Pipeline Agency.

However, in objections written against the application, nearby residents say an emission of fumes when the tanks are emptied causes headaches and nausea and they fear the physical process of emptying the slops poses the risk of human error, which could result in land contamination or even fire. The procedures also cause a great deal of noise.

Portishead town councillor Marilyn Koops, who lives close to the site, has objected to the planning application.

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She said: “I would like to see these waste tanks relocated to the middle of the site, well away from residential properties, therefore minimising all risk and nuisance.”

An application to install an odour absorption filter unit to serve the tanks has also been submitted, but its efficiency to deal with the required capacity is in question.

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The town council, which has objected to the application for the use of two extra tanks for petroleum waste, has also written to the unitary authority asking to see a test of the efficiency of the filter before the application is progressed any further.

The Redcliffe Bay site, which contains 13 tanks, was originally built by the Ministry of Defence as part of a network providing fuel to military air bases via underground pipes.

In December, despite public objection, the number of tanks in use was increased from five to eight.

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