Noise worries over bid to modernise oil depot

Plans for Gosport Oil Depot include moving the oil towers away from residents
Plans for Gosport Oil Depot include moving the oil towers away from residents

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PLANS for the future of an oil depot in Gosport are being contested by residents.

The Oil Fuel Depot in Forton Road currently has storage tanks that are more than 100 years old, having been there since the site was opened in 1910.

At a public consultation, the Oil & Pipelines Agency outlined its plans to update these tanks, as well as move the new ones further away from the nearby residential area.

The project aims to ensure that the depot will be fully equipped to meet the future requirements of the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers.

But some residents are not convinced by the plans.

Jerry Beale lives in George Street, next to Forton Road.

He said: ‘I’m not really bothered by the fuel tanks themselves, but I do have some other concerns that I have raised.

‘I am worried a bit about the noise and the dust when the construction work takes place. What’s more, the A32 is bad enough already.

‘Most people know that the A32 is a nightmare, particularly before and after school.

‘With all the fuel tankers and construction vehicles that will be coming through, I worry that it will cause absolute chaos on the roads.’

Mike Bartlett lives a couple of streets away from the site.

He said: ‘The new aircraft carriers have to be fuelled somewhere in the area, I understand that.

‘The things that concern me are the traffic and having peace of mind about the fire safety of the new oil tanks.’

Currently, the site has two offices, the main site area that holds 17 storage tanks and the jetty area, which allows delivery to and from ships.

Under the new plans, the number of used tanks will be reduced to seven – with three more kept in case the demand for fuel increases.

The multi-million pound redevelopment project – which is still subject to planning permission from Gosport Borough Council – is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.