Kerosene will continue to be stored in tanks just 10 metres from homes in Portishead
PUBLISHED: 06:58 15 January 2019
Highly-flammable fuel will continue to be stored just metres away from homes in Portishead after North Somerset Council approved a ‘previous planning oversight’.
Redcliffe Bay Fuel Depot, in Down Road, stores kerosene in two tanks which are located on the edge of the site closest to houses in Waterside Park.
Under normal operating conditions the tanks are used to store approximately 40 tonnes of the substance, but their location - just 10 metres away from homes - sparked concerns among councillors and homeowners.
The Waterside Park Residents Association believed the firm was incorrect to store the potentially dangerous substance, but the company stated its processes were safe.
The firm applied for permission to change what it says was ‘a previous planning oversight’.
The authority’s planning and regulatory committee deferred on making a decision in September last year to allow the applicant to carry out safety works, but an inspection by council officers has not yet taken place.
Alterations to the service tunnel and new access to the tanks are now in place, while the road has been reprofilled to improve access.
Cllr Jill Illes said: “All the works have been completed and the applicant has done everything we have asked them to do.
“I feel this is now a way forward and we can complete this proposal.”
The site was originally built by the Ministry of Defence in the 1950s, but modifications on the storage units have not been carried out since 2002.
The planning officer’s report states tanks 14 and 15 shall not exceed 50 per cent of their total capacity and the entrance tunnel shall be blocked and replaced.
It also notes the use of the tanks ‘should not continue unless the amendments are made to the bund and entrance to the service tunnel’.
Redcliffe Bay has now increased the bund height and closed the tunnel access, but committee members debated whether the application should go ahead.
Cllr Chris Blades said: “Someone is looking for a scape goat so it falls on us to take this responsibility.
“This is way above my pay grade.”
An inspection by council officers will take place later this month.