Firm's toxic materials bid

A LOCAL firm wants to store hazardous materials, including 500 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and 1,280 tonnes of toxic materials, at an industrial estate near Ripon.

But the Potter Group is prepared to agree to the revocation of an existing Hazardous Substance Consent for the storage of 9,999 tonnes of potentially explosive ammonium nitrate fertiliser at the Melmerby Industrial Estate.

The industrial estate is on land used for the storage of Ministry of Defence explosive ordnance during the Second World War and has been used for the storage of hazardous substances since at least 1972.

The Potter Group has applied to Harrogate Council to store 500 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas in aerosol containers, 280 tonnes of very toxic material including cyanides and hydrofluoric acid, 1,000 tonnes of toxic substances, 500 tonnes of oxidising material, 2,000 tonnes of flammable and 500 tonnes of highly flammable goods and another 6,000 tonnes classed as dangerous for the environment.

The council which will determine the application for the Hazardous Substances Consent on Tuesday, has commissioned specialist consultants, Hickling Gray Associates, to advise it.

Hickling Gray say: "The applicants recognise the potential risks its operations pose to its employees, neighbours, the general public and the environment, and necessary measures exist to ensure that the impact of such risks are correctly characterised, that any required safety measures are identified and that the change in risk is quantified.”

The Health and Safety Executive is recommending that consent should be granted. It says: "The risks to the surrounding population arising from the proposed operations are so small that there are no significant reasons, on safety grounds, for refusing Hazardous Substances Consent."