Fuel tank safety calls

PROPOSALS to bring more aviation fuel tanks into operation in Portishead have been unveiled.

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

Five tanks are currently used to pump aviation fuel to airports around the south of the country but the government’s Oil and Pipelines Agency now wants to open up another three, resulting in the storage of 19,000 more tonnes of fuel at the site. It will be asking permission from North Somerset Council to re-open the additional tanks because due to an increase in demand from airports.

Former town councillor and Redcliffe Bay resident Colin Howells said: “It is clear that over the last decade the site’s purpose has changed and it has gone from a strategic storage facility to a full scale commercial operation. Any increase in fuel storage brings with it increased risks, so before allowing an increase in activities in Redcliffe Bay, I trust North Somerset Council will carry out a full review of the operations and any additional safety requirements identified will be put in place.”

Portishead town councillor for Redcliffe Bay, Marilyn Koops, is meeting with a team from North Somerset Council to discuss the matter on Friday.

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Mrs Koops says she will be asking the authority to refuse any consent at this stage because a planning application to build three homes at the site entrance is currently undergoing an appeal.

Residents who want to make representations about the proposals should write to North Somerset Council at the Town Hall in Weston.

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