Demolition plans for Buncefield explosion site

PUBLISHED: 09:58 16 September 2009 | UPDATED: 14:27 06 May 2010

TWO councils will decide an application to replace the fuel tanks damaged in the Buncefield Oil Depot blast nearly four years ago. West London Pipeline and Storage Ltd are seeking permission to demolish the existing damaged structures at the oil depot, wh

TWO councils will decide an application to replace the fuel tanks damaged in the Buncefield Oil Depot blast nearly four years ago.

West London Pipeline and Storage Ltd are seeking permission to demolish the existing damaged structures at the oil depot, which exploded in December 2005 and sparked the UK's biggest fire since World War Two.

The new plans for the site include two 16.5 metre-high aviation fuel tanks, with a capacity of more than 12,500 cubic metres, three other fuel storage tanks, steel fences, lighting columns and altered emergency vehicle access on to Cherry Tree Lane, St Albans.

The plans will be determined in a joint decision made by St Albans district council and Dacorum borough council, as the application site falls into both areas.

Councillor Chris Brazier, planning portfolio holder for St Albans, said that Dacorum initially wanted to determine the entire application alone but he had insisted upon both authorities having equal weight in the decision-making process.

He said: "Dacorum will decide on their part and forward us their decision. We'll look at it and then make our decision based on how it affects our residents nearby and the new buildings in the industrial estate."

He continued: "It's a 13-week decision process so we wanted to ensure that our local residents are consulted on the application."

Cllr Brazier also said that St Albans council would insist that no new housing was built within a minimum area encircling the site in light of the explosion. In addition, he raised concerns that compensation issues for residents whose properties were damaged in the blast were still outstanding.

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