Residents raise concerns over impact of proposed oil depot

IPSWICH: Residents from the Whitton area of town fear a new oil depot could cause traffic and safety problems.

And it has emerged that a question mark hangs over the huge Vopak oil and petrol depot in Landseer Road.

Heating oil supplier GB Oils has applied for planning permission to develop a new depot behind the huge B&Q store off Bury Road.

In its application to the borough, GB Oils says it needs a new depot because it currently operates out of Vopak which is due to close at the end of this month.

A spokesman for Vopak said the future of the Ipswich depot had yet to be decided.

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The new depot for GB Oils would be much smaller than Vopak and would only handle heating oils – so there would be no danger of explosion. It would also protect 20 jobs that are under threat.

However residents are concerned about the number of lorries that could use the terminal – between 40 and 70 a day which would add to the traffic using the Bury Road roundabout.

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On Saturday worried residents met MP Dr Dan Poulter and councillor Margaret Bevan-Margetts to express their concerns.

A spokesman for GB Oils said: “As a result of the closure of the Vopak Terminal, GB Oils has submitted a planning application for the development of an oil storage depot.

“The site will be used for the storage of gasoil, kerosene and diesel; no petrol will be stored on site. These materials are not classed as flammable and there is therefore no risk of an explosion on the site.

“Failure to secure development of the site could put the company’s 20 employees at risk of redundancy and would remove real jobs from Ipswich.

“Many of the area’s fuel distributors are based at Vopak and the lack of an alternative site could result in a shortage of fuel supply to customers in the Ipswich area, particularly in periods of high demand such as the winter.

“The company has also worked hard to ensure that the new site has been designed to be in keeping with the local environment and particular care has been taken on landscaping it sympathetically in line with the adjacent conservation area.

“GB Oils has extensive procedures and policies in place to ensure that safety is of paramount importance at their sites.

“In order to achieve this, the company maintains a comprehensive Health, Safety and Environmental Management System.”

n Are you concerned at the plans? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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