Certas’ Isle of Wight depot recommended for approval

Certas Energy’s new fuel depot on the Isle of Wight has been recommended for approval by the planning authority.

CECAMM on the Island Technology Park site

Potentially joining CECAMM on the Island Technology Park site in Whippingham the depot would see three 125,000-litre tanks installed as well as an office building, switch room and external lighting.

It would be the new permanent Island site for the company, which would have a loading and unloading operation following the closure of one of the Island’s biggest suppliers, Isle of Wight Fuels, in East Cowes.

Certas said the fuel depot would supply road diesel, red diesel, kerosene and industrial and home heating oil for Island homes and businesses.
IW Council planning officers say the development could be supported in principle, in accordance with economic growth aims, as the site on Whippingham Road had previously been allocated and granted permission for mixed-use employment.
The Island’s branch of CPRE has said the strategy for the site to create jobs has failed and also raised concerns about the site being inappropriate, given the proximity to Osborne House and other historical areas with associations with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They said the proposals were short-sighted and would leave a damaged and polluted piece of countryside. Alternative green and clean energy should be sought instead.
Officers say the tanks, which would be no more than five metres in height, would be relatively low key in comparison to other buildings and structures proposed for the site, and modest use of the land in terms of scale.
The fuel tanks would be integrally bunded so any possible failure or leak would be contained within the structure. Spill kits would also be held on site.
The nearby Priory School has objected to the application due to safety concerns, with the proximity of three local educational establishments — CECAMM, Priory School and Queensgate Primary — and says the risks to young people have not been addressed.

Planning officers say safety concerns have been considered and would be addressed through site operator compliance with other regulatory regimes, like the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency.

Light pollution was another issue raised by local residents who thought it would have an impact on residents and wildlife.
However, officers say the external lighting would complement the character and appearance of the surrounding area, nor detrimentally affect the protection of dark skies.

The application will be determined by the Isle of Wight Council’s planning committee next week, as it is a development involving council-owned land.